Content Moderation Remedies

60 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2021 Last revised: 18 Feb 2022

See all articles by Eric Goldman

Eric Goldman

Santa Clara University - School of Law

Date Written: 2021


This Article addresses a critical but underexplored topic of “platform” law: if a user’s online content or actions violate the rules, what should happen next? The longstanding expectation is that Internet services should remove violative content or accounts from their services, and many laws mandate that result. However, Internet services have a wide range of other options—what I call “remedies”—they can use to redress content or accounts that violate the applicable rules. The Article describes dozens of remedies that Internet services have actually imposed. The Article then provides a normative framework to help Internet services and regulators navigate these remedial options to address the many difficult tradeoffs involved in content moderation. By moving past the binary remove-or-not remedy framework that dominates the current discourse about content moderation, this Article helps to improve the efficacy of content moderation, promote free expression, promote competition among Internet services, and improve Internet services’ community-building functions.

Keywords: content moderation, platform governance, online platforms, user-generated content, remedies, UGC, internet

JEL Classification: K2, K42, D82, H11, L86

Suggested Citation

Goldman, Eric, Content Moderation Remedies (2021). 28 Michigan Technology Law Review 1 (2021), Santa Clara Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper , Available at SSRN: or

Eric Goldman (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University - School of Law ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States
408-554-4369 (Phone)


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