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Better safe than sorry? Digital campaigning governance in Germany

Author: Borucki, I., & Kettemann, M. C.
Published in: Policy Studies, 1–23
Year: 2024
Type: Academic articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01442872.2024.2311167

How political speech is regulated has changed, with online spaces presenting new challenges. Private platforms now play a significant role in providing spaces for political speech with their own rules and algorithms. This paper examines the current state of legal regulation for political speech, both online and offline, and identifies gaps in governance. As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of online political speech, it is essential to consider the changing and stricter rules that are being put in place. Private actors have played a crucial role in providing space for this speech. It is worth examining the similarities and differences between offline and online political speech and advertising regulation to ensure everyone's voices are heard and respected. Analyzing applicable public and private law, we investigate how different compliance pulls from national and EU law (existing and upcoming) influence the commitments made by the parties, using the most recent federal elections in Germany as an example. Thus, we assess the German legislative framework, which is also influenced by EU legislation. These investigations reflect new European rules, including the Digital Services Act. After analyzing how parties engage with national law and (self-regulatory) commitments, the paper provides suggestions for improving online speech governance.

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Matthias C. Kettemann, Prof. Dr. LL.M. (Harvard)

Forschungsgruppenleiter und Assoziierter Forscher: Globaler Konstitutionalismus und das Internet

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