Protecting Religious Freedom Online Factsheet

This report outlines the international human rights standards relevant to the regulation of speech on social media platforms—focusing specifically on the impact to the freedom of religion or belief. Governments’ and social media companies’ insufficient responses to online hate can result in grave human rights violations. At the same time, removing or censoring protected speech online can also impede human rights. States have a direct duty to protect human rights online, which requires balancing the removal of unlawful content with allowing protected speech. This factsheet considers the impact of social media companies’ current content moderation policies on religious freedom, and explores the opportunities for those companies to incorporate international human rights standards. To further promote human rights online, this factsheet reiterates USCIRF’s recommendations for how the U.S. government can play an important role in ensuring the protection of religious freedom digitally.

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