Working Papers (Available Upon Request)
Works in Progress
Rapp, K. (2021). Social Media and Genocide: The Case for Home State Responsibility. Forthcoming, Journal of Human Rights
Who bears responsibility when social media platforms are used to incite genocide? While courts and scholarship have recognized the role of mass media in past mass atrocities, social media poses a unique challenge. Its transnational nature, with companies and infrastructure often located in different jurisdictions from where the crimes are committed, makes determining responsibility challenging. This article argues that the prohibition of genocide obligates home states - those where companies are headquartered - to act in such cases. In particular, home states may be obligated to restrict social media access in the state in question and are permitted to do so under the laws of state responsibility. Finally, this paper discusses how possible domestic or international arrangements may be used to realize these obligations and the relative merits of each. A discussion of Myanmar demonstrates how these domestic and international options may function and emphasizing the urgency of the question.