Digital Platforms and the Rise of Global Regulation of Hate Speech

30 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2019

See all articles by Paolo Cavaliere

Paolo Cavaliere

University of Edinburgh - School of Law

Date Written: September 18, 2019


The EU Code of Conduct on hate speech requires online platforms to set standards to regulate the blocking or removal of undesirable content. The standards chosen can be analysed for four variables: the scope of protection, the form of speech, the nature of harm and the likelihood of harm. Comparing the platforms’ terms of use against existing legal standards for hate speech reveals that the scope of speech that may be removed increases significantly under the Code’s mechanism. Therefore, it is legitimate to consider the platforms as substantive regulators of speech. However, the Code is only the latest example in a global trend of platforms’ activities affecting both the substantive regulation of speech and its governance. Meanwhile, states’ authority to set standards of acceptable speech wanes.

Keywords: hate speech, freedom of expression, on-line intermediaries, platforms

Suggested Citation

Cavaliere, Paolo, Digital Platforms and the Rise of Global Regulation of Hate Speech (September 18, 2019). Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2019/29, Available at SSRN: or

Paolo Cavaliere (Contact Author)

University of Edinburgh - School of Law ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, EH8 9YL
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics