Idea: Preview

Relevance:     Universal
Right to online freedom of expression; Right to opt-out of online advertising; Right to online privacy; Establishment of Children’s Online Safety Commission

Section 1.
Any platform that provides a space for users to express themselves should be forbidden from censoring any user’s contributions in any way, except in cases where the user-created content is in violation of the laws of the country in which the organization/business is headquartered. Therefore, a country that finds a platform with content that is illegal for its own residents can either ban the platform entirely (including the hosting of any data on domestic servers) or it can petition the country where the headquarters are located to change its laws. Conversely, the residents of a country who want access to a certain platform should work with the organization/business operating the platform to relax the laws of their country. But above all, people’s right to freedom of speech should not be infringed by businesses or organizations under the pretense of ‘community standards’, while their true motives are only profits and the advancement of their own agendas.

Section 2.
Any platform with user-created content via building and publishing their own profiles must have an option for a paid subscription that completely avoids all paid advertising. Therefore, a user may be able to sign up for the free version of the platform that includes advertisements, but if the user pays a subscription fee, they should see content that is organized by an algorithm that is independent of all paid advertising.

Section 3.
Every online platform, website, or tool that is tracking a user’s or visitor’s activity––such as their location, link clicks, microphone, or camera—must display a constant visual indicator in the corner of the webpage or application, with an option for the user to deactivate the tracking of their activity. When a visual indicator is not suitable to the situation, the indication should be auditory and repeated every 1 to 30 minutes, as specified by the user.

Section 4.
To make the internet safer for children, we should establish a “Children’s Online Safety Commission”. This Commission will have the tasks of monitoring social and internet usage trends and of investigating internet organizational actors (business and non-profit) to set binding guidelines for their online operations. These guidelines will be specifically tailored to each organization’s unique offerings, their impact on society, and the limitations of their budgets.
     The Commission will prioritize the investigation of the various online actors in this order: first  according to the highest amount of annual revenue, followed by the highest number of active users of an organization’s platform, followed by the number of visitors to an organization’s website.
     The Commission will have the power to set appropriate fines on previously investigated organizations who fail to implement the specified guidelines, but it will never fine any organization that has not been previously given specific guidelines. This limitation will serve to ensure that the Commission does not make sweeping requirements without first recognizing the unique role and service of an organization; at the same time, this will process will give adequate warning to similar organizations regarding what guidelines may soon be placed upon them.
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