This fall Nebraska Governance and Technology Center Student Fellows Jeffrey Owusu-Ansah (College of Law) and Mei Fong Looi (College of Business) collaborated on a project exploring restrictions on online speech in other countries, and how they are applied to American media platforms. As well as holding a poster-presentation on the issue, the duo developed a website that explores the issue generally, as well as through the lens of three specific countries – the United Kingdom, India, and Thailand – viewable here.
Starting with the UK, their analysis found that a significant difference between the United States and the United Kingdom is the UK’s adoption of Public Order 1986, which prohibits hate speech directed at certain protected classes. India, in turn, has taken a much more aggressive stance, especially with regard to critical conduct directed at the government; when the Indian central government directed Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to “remove dozens of social media posts and hashtags” that were critical of the government’s covid response, “many of the social media companies complied,” citing their obligation to follow local laws the justify the removal of such content. In Thailand, after King Bhumibol Adulyade died in 2016, Google complied with a government order to “remove over 100 articles critical of the monarchy,” again citing adherence to local laws as justification for the action.
Jeffrey Owusu-Ansah is pursuing a Juris Doctorate at the University of Nebraska College of Law; prior to enrolling he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business and worked for the University of Nebraska.
Mei Fong Looi is an Actuarial Science master’s student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business. She previously earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Science with a 3.885 GPA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. While pursuing her degree she is also working as a Data Analyst I at Nelnet.