Governing Platforms

Read our final recommendations and watch the recording of our online policy dialogue together with the European Policy Centre on 30th October

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

  • Short-term:
    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.
  • Medium-term:
    Implement these ideas and policy recommendations by presenting, discussing and actively advocating for them both in Brussels and in the member states.
  • Long-term:
    To preserve a public discourse that enables and supports the deliberative processes necessary for a democracy to function properly.

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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