On 8 October, the first stakeholder convening of the Governing Platforms Project will take place in Brussels. Over the course of the 18-month project, selected stakeholders from civil society, the private sector, academia, and policy, will put their heads together to develop regulatory proposals that address the influence of intermediaries on public discourse.
From France’s law to combat information manipulation, to Germany’s Network Enforcement Act, to the EU’s most recent proposal on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online, policymakers around Europe are scrambling to develop regulations to govern content on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and others.
Nevertheless, in Europe’s race to devise mechanisms for platform governance, many important policy dimensions and perspectives remain unexamined or underrepresented. As a result, proposals to moderate speech or promote nebulously defined “public value content” could risk concentrating power into the hands of a few private companies, or of increasingly illiberal regimes in some member states.
While experts, in principle, agree that platform regulation is both necessary and imminent, designing evidence-based regulations which safeguard fundamental rights while promoting transparency and public interest concerns, is a tall order.
By engaging with diverse stakeholders from civil society, policy makers, the private sector and academia, the Governing Platforms Project will serve as a hub for the research, discussion, design, and advocacy of informed policy recommendations that do just this.
On October 8th, 2019, our group of experts and practitioners from around Europe will convene at the offices of our project partner, the European Policy Centre, in Brussels to kick off the project with the first of two stakeholder dialogue meetings. After a presentation by scholars from the Mainzer Medieninstitut, stakeholders will exchange expertise and experiences, with a goal of developing a joint understanding of the effects of intermediaries and their implications for public discourse. This process of dialogue and debate will continue both on and offline over the course of the year-long project. During the second stakeholder dialogue meeting, participants will use their findings to begin to articulate concrete policy recommendations for EU policymakers.
Learn more about the Governing Platforms Project here.