Trends and Challenges: moderation of E2E encrypted communication in Zimbabwe

Horizon will be collaborating with the Harare Institute of Technology in Zimbabwe in this exciting project exploring moderation in End-to-End encrypted online spaces.

End-to-End Encryption (E2E) is a system of communication in which only those sending and receiving messages can see their content. Within this system, a message is encrypted when it is sent and is decrypted only when it is received by the recipient. Examples of apps that use E2E are WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram. These apps are growing in use in the Global North but in some cases are already extremely popular in the Global South. For instance, WhatsApp is by far the most used app in Zimbabwe, accounting for 44% of mobile app use.

As E2E-enabled platforms grow in use across the globe, it is necessary for research to investigate dilemmas faced by Internet platforms and policy makers. How can the spread of fake news, hate speech and inflammatory content be moderated in private digital spaces? What is an appropriate balance between privacy of speech and security from harm? These dilemmas are being investigated by the current Horizon Everything in Moderation project. We will now extend this work through the companion project Trends and Challenges for the moderation of end-to-end encrypted communication in Zimbabwe. This project is a partnership with the Harare Institute of Technology and will provide an opportunity to identify and assess potential global solutions to moderation challenges.

This project commences November 2022 until March 2023 and is a partnership with the Harare Institute of Technology