Skip to main content

Formal meeting (oral evidence session): Freedom of expression online

Communications and Digital Committee
Freedom of expression online

Tuesday 20 April 2021

Start times: 2.45pm (private) 2.45pm (public)


Add to calendar

Committee hears from College of Policing, US Senator, and ‘big tech’ experts

The Communications and Digital Committee hears evidence from the College of Policing, a Republican senator as well as a shadow minister and the Director of the Centre for Policy Studies as part of its ongoing inquiry looking at freedom of expression online.

Meeting details

At 2.45pm: Oral evidence
Inquiry Freedom of expression online
Faculty Lead for Crime and Criminal Justice at College of Policing
At 3.30pm: Oral evidence
Inquiry Freedom of expression online
Senator for Tennessee at US Senate
At 4.30pm: Oral evidence
Inquiry Freedom of expression online
Shadow Minister for Digital, Science and Technology at Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Director at Centre for Policy Studies

Possible questions

Likely topics for discussion and possible questions to the College of Policing include:

  • Do the police have the skills and resources necessary to deal with crimes committed on social media?
  • How do police judge whether a social media post is likely to stir up hatred? What is your view of the Law Commission’s proposal that, where intent to stir up hatred can be shown, there should be no requirement for the post to be insulting, abusive or threatening?
  • To what extent do anonymity and pseudonymity on social media make it more difficult for the police to charge individuals?

Likely topics for discussion and possible questions to Senator Marsha Blackburn include:

  • How do the commercial and political interests of social media companies shape their approach to freedom of expression?
  • How can governments ensure that regulation does not entrench the market power of the largest platforms?

Likely topics for discussion and possible questions to Chi Onwurah MP and Robert Colvile include:

  • To what extent would changes to the design of platforms improve the quality of debate and discussion on social media? How could these changes be encouraged, and what are the obstacles to them?
  • The founders of Facebook and Twitter have described their platforms as a digital ‘public square’. What should be the obligations associated with such a status?

Further information

Location

Virtual meeting