Governing Platforms

This project aims to identify the negative effects of intermediaries on public discourse. In a participatory process involving civil society and other interest groups, we will develop proposals for innovative governance measures and other instruments to be incorporated into the political processes of the EU and its member states.

About the project

A plethora of regulatory attempts are underway – at EU level and in member states – to mandate Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube and other intermediaries to patrol content, by blocking unwanted posts, or ensure plurality and non-discrimination of sources. The reason: the influence of intermediaries on public discourse is perceived as overly powerful and damaging. However, it is doubtful whether current strategies will succeed in strengthening public discourse.

Engaging with civil society and other stakeholders in a participatory design process, we will develop innovative governance/policy proposals and other tools that we will then feed into the EU and member states’ policy processes.

Objectives are

Final recommendations

Putting Meaningful Transparency at the Heart of the Digital Services Act
Why Data Access for Research Matters & How we can Make it Happen
October 2020


Are Algorithms a Threat to Democracy?
The Rise of Intermediaries: A Challenge for Public Discourse

Professor Dr. Birgit Stark and Daniel Stegmann, M.A.
with Melanie Magin, Assoc. Prof. & Dr. Pascal Jürgens
May 2020

Designing platform governance:
A normative perspective on needs, strategies, and tools to regulate intermediaries

Prof. Dr. Matthias Cornils
May 2020

Operationalizing Research Access in Platform Governance
What to Learn from Other Industries?

Jef Ausloos, Paddy Leerssen, Pim ten Thije
June 2020


Matthias Spielkamp

Project partners

Funded by

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