Global Freedom of Expression


Upcoming Conference – The State of Free Speech: Challenges and Solutions for a Digital Age, December 4, 2023

Key Details

  • Themes
    Content Moderation, Digital Rights, Hate Speech

The Future of Free Speech (FFS) Project invites you to join its annual conference on free speech, which will take place in Stockholm on December 4, 2023. This year’s focus is free speech in the digital age. The conference will host policymakers, CSOs, scholars, the tech industry and media representatives as participants, among many others.

Register by November 24, 2023

Marie Dahllöf, Secretary General at the Swedish Postcode Foundation, will give a welcome address, go through the pillars and aims of the Swedish Postcode Foundation, and why free speech is of significance to the Foundation. Jacob Mchangama, Future of Free Speech Director, and David Kaye, Academic and former Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, will set the scene of the conference’s topic in a theoretical and practical way. Nazila Ghanea, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, will reflect upon some of the submissions she received for her next report, which focuses on matters relevant to this conference. Nathan Law will discuss his life as an activist from Hong Kong, and Mina Dennert (#Iamhere) will discuss the power of counter-speech. Faisal Al Mutal, Founder of Ideas Beyond Borders will look at the responsible implementation of technological advances.

Speakers will also address the various challenges and threats to free speech in the digital age, such as governmental restrictions and increased state-mandated content moderation, following developments like the enactment of Germany’s NetzDG and the EU’s Digital Services Act. A panel discussing the FFS 2023 report on the state of content moderation of hate speech in Austria, France, and Germany will frame this analysis (presented by Ioanna Tourkochoriti, Mikael Ruotsi, Martin Fertmann, and discussed with Alexandria Walden and Jacob Mchangama). The speakers will consider how counter-speech can help to tackle online hate speech and disinformation. Experts will discuss practical and normative issues in this field. There will also be a presentation on the FFS toolkits, one of which uses counter-speech to tackle hate speech and disinformation, and another is an AI-powered app that can assist the work of counter-speakers (Susan Benesch, Michael Bang Petersen, Jesse Spencer Smith). Finally, the speakers will look at current free speech controversies such as regional developments in the framework of prohibiting the desecration of religious texts.

Location: Kulturhuset stadsteatern, Sergels Torg, 111 57 Stockholm

Date and Time: November 4, 2023, 9.00 am – 15.00 (CET)

The deadline for online or in-person registration is 5 pm (CET) on November 24, 2023. Register here.

For more information, contact Natalie Alkiviadou at


Jacob Mchangama

Director, Justitia
Former Visiting Scholar, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression

Natalie Alkiviadou

Dr. Natalie Alkiviadou (PhD, LLM, LLB), Senior Research Fellow, Justitia