IViR Lecture Series: Big Speech

The massive scale of Big Tech platforms is widely viewed not just as a threat to market efficiency or consumer welfare, but to the integrity of the public sphere and democracy itself. This is especially true when it comes to Big Speech—the firms who control and profit from large user-generated content platforms. With regulation stymied in the United States, structural break-up under antitrust law has emerged as an alternative means to address Big Speech’s power over the democratic public sphere. In addition to these domestic regulatory efforts, the European Union has stepped up to regulate content moderation, most imminently through its Digital Services Act (DSA), which places different regulatory burdens on platforms based on the number of monthly average users in the EU, thereby disincentivizing Big Speech in Europe.

Drawing from the empirical literature of online speech governance, this lecture offers a novel description of what speech platforms do and how they operate, before outlining a series of observations about the relationships between a platform’s size, its composition, and its content moderation practices.

Date: 31 May 2024
Time: 15:30 – 16:45 CET (Amsterdam)
– IViR Room, REC A5.24, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam.
– Online via Zoom (you will receive the Zoomlink via e-mail on the morning of the lecture).
See also the flyer.

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