With Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz, Director, Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut
It is now common knowledge that the communication rules set by social media platforms (like community standards) have a decisive influence on what can be said publicly. This is often criticized and there are numerous attempts around the world to limit this influence through legislative action. However, there is often a lack of in-depth understanding of what the complex regulatory structures actually look like, even in legal scholarship.
In a liberal democracy, there are two equally legitimate forms of coordination: private agreements and democratically legitimized laws. In the case of social media content rules, the two forms overlap. This comes with a heap of fundamental legal challenges. The Digital Service Act, which the EU agreed on this summer, is a first attempt to address this systematically. The regulations indirectly steer the content moderation of platforms by formulating requirements for procedures for community standards and their implementation. It might be a role model for future regulation in the realm of social media.
The lecture systematically analyzes this concept of “hybrid governance”and discusses problems and opportunities for success of such an approach. The talk wants to inspire more transatlantic exchange on fundamental questions on frameworks for a healthy communication environment in our digital societies.