Platforms have installed themselves as key intermediaries in contemporary societies. They re-organise communication and politics, mobility and travel, work and everyday life. Yet, with this change controversies arise. How do social media companies moderate the content on their sites? How does Uber allocate drivers and assigns prices to ride requests? The way platforms order and govern the activities they host has tremendous effects on how communication, politics, mobility and other key sectors are organized in the digital society. Thus, it is no surprise that public and political attention has turned to the question how platforms shall be governed in turn. Should platforms be liable for copyrighted content that users upload, and if so, to what extent? What responsibility do they hold for hostile communication dynamics and hate speech taking place on their sites?
In this long-term project we look at both the governance of and the governance by platforms. We are specifically interested in the entanglement of discourses, regulation, and technological measures in these developments. Partly in response to public outcry and political pressure, platforms have extended and elaborated their site policy documents such as Terms of Service, Community Guidelines and Privacy Policies. At the same time, in order to balance the public pressure to take action on problematic content such as hate speech and misinformation on the one hand and the massive scale of the content that they host, platforms increasingly turn to automated measures to filter and block content deemed illegitimate. In addition to conceptual contributions on governance in general, and platform governance specifically, we empirically investigate the nexus of public discourse, policy measures and technological fixes in several sub-projects.
Sub-Projects and studies within this project:
- Freedom of expression in the quasi-public sphere
- The turn to AI in communication goverance online
- Ranking digital rights
|Sponsors||self-funded, for other sources of funding see sub-projects|