Item 3  - Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression

National statement by the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Madam President,

The Kingdom of the Netherlands aligns itself with the EU-statement. 

We thank Special Rapporteur Khan for the presentation of the report on disinformation and freedom of opinion and expression and reaffirm our full support for her mandate.  The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a staunch supporter of the right to freedom of expression, both online and offline.

While acknowledging the threat that disinformation poses to our societies, we echo your concerns about state and private actor responses to disinformation, including state censorship on the basis of laws prohibiting “false news” that fail to meet the three-pronged test of legality, necessity and legitimate aims. The vague and overly broad nature of such laws allows Governments to stifle journalists, political opponents and human rights defenders.

Diverse and reliable information is an obvious antidote to disinformation. States should fulfil their duty to ensure the right to information and freedom of expression, firstly, by increasing their own transparency and by proactively disclosing official data online and offline and, secondly, by reaffirming their commitment to media freedom, diversity and independence. Private sector companies, including tech-companies should apply a human rights based approach to content moderation, in line with their responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles on B&HR.

Ms Khan,

You introduce in your rapport the concept of  “differential privacy” as a way forward for access to mega data for research purposes while respecting the human rights and safety concerns of users. Could you elaborate on this point and give us a good practice of this?

Thank you.