The multidisciplinary debate must consider respect for fundamental guarantees and freedom of expression. Regulation is needed in which users, companies, and governments participate. Internet content affects us all globally and to moderate it requires establishing a delicate balance between rights contemplated by law: fundamental guarantees such as freedom of expression must be respected, as well as containing hate speech and discrimination.
Speakers from different countries debated this issue during the International Seminar "Moderation of Internet Content", organized by the Institute for Legal Research (IIJ) of the UNAM and the Association of Internet MX (AIMX). Inaugurating the distance event, the director of this academic entity, Pedro Salazar Ugarte, considered it necessary for legitimately interested actors to have an opinion, to be heard and taken into account.
There is an enormous challenge of balancing the different rights that are at stake; between these and the valuable assets. We have an opportunity to propose and rethink the context of the 21st century beyond its second decade, to reflect on technology, which has a great tradition in legal thought: that of weighting and balance between prerogatives; between what the limits of freedom of expression should be and how they should be justified and casuistically ordered, he pointed out.
Salazar Ugarte emphasized that we cannot ignore the political context, the public debate. "We seek to contribute to identify and contribute elements that guide us as a country to have the best legislation in a matter that is extremely changing".
In her turn, the legal vice-president of the Asociación de Internet MX (AIMX), Mónica Chávez Núñez, stressed the importance of this meeting between academia and industry to promote the responsible and ethical use of the network, in addition to promoting the digital rights of users. She commented that AIMX brings together the most relevant companies in this area and seeks to guide their interests towards free, responsible, and safe development, with a positive impact on society.
The challenge lies in finding that fine balance between protecting the human rights of free expression and privacy, and at the same time addressing the problems and threats that arise, such as disinformation, hate speech, discrimination and violence.
At Table 1, entitled "Content moderation: principles, standards, and human rights" -moderated by Issa Luna Pla, of the IIJ-, the president of the Human Rights Commission of Mexico City, Nashieli Ramírez Hernández, called for a regulation that respects the neutrality of the network and individual guarantees. "Internet is a global resource and its management must respect its free nature and reduce inequality gaps."
"It is necessary to regulate the use of the Internet, of artificial intelligence, so that it continues to be inserted in a democratic context where the State and the supranational level can ensure the safeguarding of human rights of individuals and communities in the face of private interests," she said.
From Colombia, the director of the Karisma Foundation, Carolina Botero, stressed that the regulation must take into account the social context, since the limits to freedom of expression vary if it is about, for example, elections or children's issues. "Content moderation is required as a limit to freedom of expression, as the Internet is a bidirectional channel with immense potential."
For the general director of AIMX, Julio César Vega Gómez, international commitments and contracted guidelines must be taken into account, such as the electronic commerce rules of the World Trade Organization. "A global consideration of human rights is also needed, which must be carefully reviewed."
Uruguay's Edison Lanza, of the Inter-American Dialogue, said it has gone from being an elite resource to a popular one. "For its regulation, it is not necessary to adhere to human rights standards, but to make the Internet a cross-border space where the regulation of one country is not enough, but rather a global agreement, net neutrality, universal access, and transparency are needed".
Finally, Oscar Alejandro Robles Garay, from the Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean, pointed out that the so-called information superhighway was created without authority and favored innovation. "It is desirable that users participate in this governance and not only companies and governments," he concluded.