Global Freedom of Expression

3 May

Content Moderation, Free Speech and the Eternal Search for Truth

  • 12:10pm-1:30pm ET (New York)
  • Satow Room, Lerner Hall, Columbia University
    2920 Broadway
    New York, NY 10027
    United States

Sponsored by Columbia GFoE, Meta Oversight Board and PEN America 


On World Press Freedom Day, join Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Meta Oversight Board and PEN America for a discussion on Content Moderation, Free Speech and the Eternal Search for Truth.

There is little doubt that the internet and social platforms have changed the way we communicate, seek truth and hold others to account around the world. Mis- and disinformation make headlines and have become a sticking point in the debate of whether this change is good or bad. The debate seems hottest in the journalistic sphere.  On the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, this session will explore different approaches to the underlying values of journalistic ethics and integrity on platforms. How do new regulatory models, like the Oversight Board, approach this through content moderation? How are different forms of media evolving and adapting? Are the fundamental rights and values of freedom of expression and a free press still the same?


  • Maria Luisa Romero, Special Advisor, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression and Co-chair, Meta Oversight Board 
  • Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer, PEN America and Board Member, Meta Oversight Board 
  • Alan Rusbridger, Editor, Prospect Magazine and Board Member, Meta Oversight Board 
  • Michael Zelenko, Executive Editor, Rest of World 
  • Preethi Nallu, Global Director, Report for the World

Catalina Botero Marino – Consulting Director, Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University

Catalina Botero Marino is the consulting director of Global Freedom of Expression. She is a lawyer, director of the UNESCO Chair on Freedom of Expression at the Universidad de Los Andes, co-chair of the Oversight Board of Facebook and Instagram, member of the external transparency panel of the Inter-American Development Bank, commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists and member of the Advisory Board of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute. She is an adjunct professor at American University’s Human Rights Academy. She was Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the OAS, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Universidad de Los Andes, and an Associate Judge of the Constitutional Court and of the Council of State in Colombia.

Suzanne Nossel – Chief Executive Officer, PEN America


Suzanne Nossel is Chief Executive Officer at PEN America and author of Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All. Prior to joining PEN America, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of Human Rights Watch and as Executive Director of Amnesty International USA. She served in the Obama Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations, leading US engagement in the UN and multilateral institutions on human rights issues, and in the Clinton Administration as Deputy to the US Ambassador for UN Management and Reform. Nossel coined the term “Smart Power,” which was the title of a 2004 article she published in Foreign Affairs Magazine and later became the theme of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s tenure in office. She is a featured columnist for Foreign Policy magazine and has published op-eds in The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as scholarly articles in Foreign Affairs, Dissent, and Democracy, among others.  She has served senior roles in the private sector at Dow Jones and Bertelsmann. Nossel is a magna cum laude graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

Alan Rusbridger – Principal, Lady Margaret Hall Oxford


Alan Charles Rusbridger is the Editor of Prospect Magazine. Until September 2021 he was Principal at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. He is Chair of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and former Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom, from 1995 to 2015. His academic awards include recognition by universities such as Harvard, CUNY, Oslo, Lincoln, Coventry, Kingston and the Open University. In 2014, he was a recipient of the Right Livelihood Award in Stockholm – the so-called “alternative Nobel Prize”. The Guardian’s coverage of surveillance by western intelligence agencies was recognised with the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2014. Educated at Cambridge University, he has also written children’s books and a screenplay. He is the author of ‘Play it Again’; and ‘Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why it Matters Now’. He was a member of the Scott Trust, which owns The Guardian newspaper, served as a board member of the Royal National Theatre in London and currently serves on the Board of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Michael Zelenko – Executive Editor, Rest of World


Michael Zelenko is a New York City-based journalist and the deputy editor of Rest of World, an award-winning nonprofit newsroom dedicated to covering the impact of technology outside the West. Launched in 2021, Rest of World’s global newsroom stretches from Jakarta to Mexico City. Previously, Michael co-founded and served as the executive editor of OneZero, a tech and science outlet underwritten by Medium. For nearly half a decade prior, he led the award-winning longford and features program at The Verge, where he also established an enterprise reporting team responsible for groundbreaking investigative work. He also spearheaded and managed The Verge’s partnership with organizations including Type Investigations and the Marshall Project. Born in Russia and raised in the US, Michael has also reported from countries such as Colombia and Iceland for various outlets.

Preethi Nallu – Global Director, Report for the World


Preethi Nallu is a writer, researcher, film-maker and advocacy specialist from India. She was founding editor at Refugees Deeply. Born in Iran, raised in India, Preethi’s career spans 14 countries across the global north and south. She has researched, reported and campaigned about humanitarian and media development issues. Her films and reports won two Webby awards, two Migration Media awards, and a Human Rights Press Award. Preethi has worked for mainstream media outlets such as Al Jazeera English and Foreign Policy, global think tanks such as Chatham House, and led multimedia campaigns for the UN and global NGOs such as the Norwegian Refugee Council and International Media Support (IMS). In her last role as co-editor at Mediabridge, supported by IMS, she created a digital platform with an Indian design team, &all, and facilitated partnerships between media of different sizes.