In this report, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Irene Khan, examines the challenges that information manipulation poses to freedom of opinion and expression during armed conflict.

She notes that the information environment in the digital age has become a dangerous theatre of war in which State and non-State actors, enabled by digital technology and social media, weaponize information to sow confusion, feed hate, incite violence and prolong conflict.

Emphasizing the vital importance of the right to information as a “survival right” on which people’s lives, health and safety depend, the Special Rapporteur recommends that human rights standards be reinforced alongside international humanitarian law during armed conflicts.

She urges States to reaffirm their commitment to upholding freedom of opinion and expression and ensuring that action to counter disinformation, propaganda and incitement is well grounded in human rights.

She recommends that social media companies align their policies and practices with human rights standards and apply them consistently across the world.

She concludes by reiterating the need to build social resilience against disinformation and promote multi-stakeholder approaches that engage civil society as well as States, companies and international organizations.

You can read the report by clicking below.