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.
Identify the negative effects intermediaries have on the public discourse, develop a joint understanding of these effects among participating organisations and the wider civil society, and come up with adequate and effective ideas and policy proposals to mitigate these effects.
Implement these ideas and policy recommendations by presenting, discussing and actively advocating for them both in Brussels and in the member states.
To preserve a public discourse that enables and supports the deliberative processes necessary for a democracy to function properly.
Professor Dr. Birgit Stark and Daniel Stegmann, M.A.
with Melanie Magin, Assoc. Prof. & Dr. Pascal Jürgens
Prof. Dr. Matthias Cornils