Platform Policy: Evaluating Different Responses to the Challenges of Platform Power

Paper accepted for International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) annual conference, Tampere, Finland, July 12-17, 2020

19 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2020

See all articles by Terry Flew

Terry Flew

The University of Sydney

Rosalie Gillett

Queensland University of Technology

Date Written: June 17, 2020

Abstract

This paper starts from the premise that there has been a “policy turn” in questions of internet governance, as politicians and policymakers across multiple jurisdictions grapple with the power of digital platforms, and associated questions of accountability, transparency, market dominance and content regulation. The EU Hate Speech monitoring code, the Christchurch Call, the UK Online Harms Bill, and Australia’s ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry are manifestations of this trend. But there hangs a question around such initiatives of the appropriateness of national governments as regulators of Internet content, and associated risks in terms of freedom of expression and governmental power as compared to corporate power. In this paper, we will consider different conceptual premises for understanding platform power, arising from neo-pluralist, class and elite theories, as well as the relative significance of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), nation-state governments, corporate self-regulation (e.g. Facebook Oversight Board), and supranational governance mechanisms, such as Tim Berners-Lee’s proposed ‘Contract for the Web’.

Suggested Citation

Flew, Terry and Gillett, Rosalie, Platform Policy: Evaluating Different Responses to the Challenges of Platform Power (June 17, 2020). Paper accepted for International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) annual conference, Tampere, Finland, July 12-17, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3628959

Terry Flew (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney ( email )

A20 John Woolley Building
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
61 405070980 (Phone)

Rosalie Gillett

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4000
Australia

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