The Alana Institute hosted the panel “Assessing platform regulation from the perspective of children’s rights” on February 21st as part of the pre-conference program of the “Internet for Trust” event organized by UNESCO in Paris. The panel aimed to discuss the regulation of digital platforms, a critical topic at a time when misinformation and hate speech are affecting democracies worldwide.
Alana emphasized the importance of considering the perspective of children, especially those in the Global South. As demonstrated by the study “Global platforms, partial protections: Design discriminations on social media platforms”, protective mechanisms are unequally provided by big tech companies depending on the country. The report highlights disparities in platform resources for young users, particularly regarding minimum age requirements, privacy settings, and the accessibility and availability of privacy policies in native languages.
To accomplish this, it featured the participation of Caio Machado, co-founder and CEO of the Vero Institute, Dorothy Gordon from UNESCO, Felipe Neto, digital influencer and founder of the Vero Institute, Isabella Henriques, executive director of the Alana Institute, Sonia Jorge from the Global Digital Inclusion Partnership (GDIP). The panel was moderated by Maria Mello, coordinator of the Child and Consumerism program
Throughout the discussions, topics such as algorithmic recommendation systems, age verification mechanisms, and education for responsible use of digital platforms were discussed. With contributions from experts in civil society, academia, and communication professionals, it became clear how important it is for technology companies to implement measures that ensure consistent levels of protection on their platforms for all children, regardless of their geographical location.
Therefore, the exchanges that took place provided an opportunity to update international stakeholders on the developments regarding platform regulation in Brazil. It also aimed to raise awareness among these groups about the inequalities that children in the Global South experience concerning safety and the assurance of their rights in the digital environment.