European Governance Models of Digital Platforms

3rd workshop of the Jean Monnet Network on European Media and Platform Policies (EuromediApp)

21-22 October 2021
Venue: https://uni-salzburg.webex.com/meet/tales.tomaz

For registration, see form below

Programme

Session 1: FREEDOM AND REGULATION

Thu 21 October at 15-17:30 CET

Moderation: Péter Bajomi-Lázár (Budapest Business School)

15:05
Josef Trappel (University of Salzburg): EuromediaApp: Introduction into the Erasmus Jean Monnet Network project

15:20
Aske Kammer (Danish School of Media and Journalism): Global Platform Companies and National Media Systems: network power and challenges to the established order

15:40
Gergely Gosztonyi (ELTE University): From State’s control to State’s control – historical conceptualisation of censorship and content control

16.00
Judit Bayer (Budapest Business School): Should digital media platforms be regulated at all? How to protect freedom of expression?

17.00
Questions and answers

Session 1: GLOBAL PLATFORMS AND NATIONAL REGULATORY AGENTS

Fri 22 October at 10-12:30 CET

Moderation: Marko Milosavljevic (Ljubljana University)

10:05
Sally Broughton Micova (University of East Anglia): Responsible but not liable in the EU

10:25
Tarlach McGonagle (University of Amsterdam) & Katie Pentney (Global Legal Action Network): Online disinformation: a square peg in a round regulatory hole?

10:45
Bernd Holznagel (University of Münster): Platform Regulation in Germany

11:05
Questions and answers

Speakers

Judit Bayer is Associate Professor of Media Law and International Law at the Budapest Business School, Hungary, and a Research Fellow at the University of Münster. Her research interest is in human rights, freedom of expression, media freedom and pluralism, and privacy. She has a PhD in constitutional law (internet regulation) and a habilitation degree in constitutional law (data protection). She has authored several books and articles on freedom of expression and the media. Email: bayer.judit@uni-bge.hu

Gergely Gosztonyi, PhD, is a Hungarian lawyer and media researcher. He teaches courses on media law, constitutional law, and legal history at ELTE University, and does research on censorship, alternative media and the liability of intermediaries. He has been, since 2015, the coach of the Hungarian Team for the yearly Monroe E. Price Media Law Moot Court Competition. He has also acted as an expert for the Council of Europe and for the Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development Centre, as well as the National Talent Center. He is on the editorial boards of different law journals.

Bernd Holznagel is Professor for Public and Administrative Law and Director of the Institute for Information, Telecommunication and Media law (ITM) at the University of Münster. The main focus of his research work lies in Telecommunication and Media Law as well as in network regulation, notably energy law. Since 1997 he has been Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law at the University of Münster and head of the public section of ITM. He is a member of an academic consortium for questions of regulation of the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency) and a member of Münchener Kreis (Munich Circle).

Aske Kammer, PhD, is Senior Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Media and Innovation at the Danish School of Media and Journalism. His research explores how user data and ‘big tech’ influence the business models and structures of media organisations and media systems. Previously, he has done work on media regulation, subsidies, and democracies in the Nordic region and on digital journalism. @AskeKammer, www.AskeKammer.dk

Tarlach McGonagle is Professor of Media Law and Information Society at Leiden Law School, Leiden University, and associate professor at the Institute for Information Law (IViR), Amsterdam Law School, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is the founder and co-chair of the Working Group on human rights in the digital age in the Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research and a member of the Euromedia Research Group. He regularly advises and writes expert studies for the Council of Europe, the OSCE and other IGOs. He is co-rapporteur of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on combating hate speech.

Sally Broughton Micova is a Lecturer in Communications Policy and Politics at the University of East Anglia and member of its Centre for Competition Policy. She is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Regulation in Europe (CERRE) in Brussels, where she recently conducted an investigation into audiovisual advertising inspired by the debates about the regulation of audiovisual media services and video sharing platforms. Her research focuses on policy and regulation in media and communications. This includes work on content platforms and data, advertising markets, audiovisual media and online platform policy, and public service media. She has done research on behalf of the European Commission on the implementation of new regulations for video-sharing platforms, especially in relation to advertising, and a part of a team lead by Plum Consulting on audiovisual media policy for Singaporean and Malaysian authorities. She was previously Deputy Director of the LSE Media Policy Project and an LSE Research and Teaching Fellow in Media Governance and Policy, and a Visiting Lecturer at the Institute of Communication Studies in Skopje, Macedonia.

Katie Pentney is a DPhil Candidate at the University of Oxford, focusing on government disinformation and freedom of expression in a post-truth era. She has an Advanced LL.M. from Leiden University (summa cum laude) and a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada. She has written on various topics relating to freedom of expression and released a podcast series on hate speech and AI funded by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. She currently works as a Legal Researcher with Global Legal Action Network on a case before the European Court of Human Rights.

Context

In the age of social media, regulation is lagging behind technological innovation. Owing to the permanent renewal of global social media networks, European and national regulators are often faced with the task of reacting to fait accompli situations. At the same time, pressures on legislators are growing, requesting them to handle issues such as, especially, the hegemony of Facebook and Google, the impact of social media platforms upon the news economy, online hate speech, disinformation campaigns, and growing political polarisation. The current financial problems of online news sites, enhanced by the ongoing pandemic, as well as the lacking transparency of the algorithms behind commercially-run social media platforms only add to these concerns.

The issues raising concerns vary across the globe. Some countries focus primarily on how the growing influence of social media platforms and search engines may affect the revenues of news sites (Australia and Canada). Other countries engage in bitter debates about the regulatory implications of hate speech and disinformation (the United States). Yet other countries voice concerns regarding alleged censorship mechanisms on social media platforms (Hungary and Poland). Copyright violations are also a major issue (particularly in the European Union). The political polarisation and social fragmentation enhanced by the diversification of media and undermining social cohesion occur to be issues of global concern. The list of related items could be long continued. While some experts are concerned about the social and political effects of under-regulation, others are worried that over-regulation may infringe the right to free speech.

Critical scholars of media policy are faced with a number of questions related to digital platforms, including the issues below:

  • Should digital media platforms be regulated at all? And if so, what principles should regulation enhance? How to enforce the public interest on social media platforms?
  • Where are the legitimate limits of regulation, and how to protect the freedom of expression at the same time?
  • What issues should be regarded as a matter of regulation, and what issues should be dealt with via self-regulatory mechanisms?
  • Who has the mandate and the ability to regulate digital platforms? Is regulation the job of national institutions, or should it be carried out by supra-national institutions such as the European Union? Are nation states ready to delegate a part of their regulatory sovereignty to supra-national organisations?
  • What are the pros and cons of approaches such as internet content regulation, data protection, pro-competition policies and public alternatives? Which of them are in line with European democratic values?
  • What are the tensions, if any, between European models of media and platform governance on the one hand and the global nature of digital platforms on the other? How to instill European values in platform governance without being West-centric?

 

The Jean Monnet network EuromediApp is dedicated to studying, analysing and discussing the benefits and challenges of digital platforms in Europe and world-wide. It now advertises a public conference, to be held on 21 and 22 October 2021, and aimed at addressing the issues above with the involvement of international experts in media policy and law.

Registration