Internet debate and freedom of speech

Although this was discussed last summer, the dynamics of comments, debates and moderation of online media remains very relevant. Anders Sundnes Løvlie wrote and article for the online NRK (Norsk rikskringkasting) where he explained how moderation on online media increased dramatically after the terror attack in Norway, 22nd of July 2011. The fact that the terrorist behind the attacks had been very active online lead to debates regarding the role of the media in the terror attack.

The interesting consequence of the increased moderation, however, is really interesting. Through a questionaire, Anders Sundnes Løvlie found that many have had their comments or articles removed by moderators, without being aware of the reason why.

This is interesting from a democratic point of view, when the freedom of speech in certain media is suddenly compromised to serve the greater good – that is, limiting the reach of dangerous individuals or groups in the online debate. This problematises democracy in a digital society, and is an ongoing and relevant discussion amongst DECIDIS-members.

To read Anders’ article (in Norwegian), please visit:

And to hear him discuss the same in Kulturnytt (Radio), please visit:

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