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Platform://Democracy. Platform Councils as Tools to Democratize Hybrid Online Orders

Platform://Democracy. Platform Councils as Tools to Democratize Hybrid Online Orders

What about our participation in communication-related decisions on digital platforms today, where significant parts of our public discourse has been shifted? Tried and tested democratic principles cannot easily be translated to allow user participation in the design of private selection algorithms and moderation practices. The platforms themselves have become rule-makers, rule enforcers and judges of their decisions. Separation of powers looks different.
In this project, we are trying to find out how the rules of discourse on platforms can be aligned with public values. Are forms like platform councils suitable for this?
By analysing and synthesising the institutional frameworks of successful societal responses to hybrid governance regimes, the project aims to identify how platform councils can be used as a means to achieve this. We will do this through a global review of best practice models of integrating public interests back into private (and public) regimes, such as those that exist or have existed in different countries in the field of public broadcasting or the protection of minors.
Research Clinics
In four regional research clinics in Asia/Australia, the Americas, Africa and Europe, the possibility spaces of institutionalised societal feedback mechanisms of private exercise of power will be researched in an interdisciplinary way and evaluated normatively. Participants will draw on their individual backgrounds and institutional experiences to develop proposals for democratising online communication spaces and making their rules and practices more socially sustainable. In a high-profile final event, we will review and compare regional best practices and summarise the results of the project in a synthesis paper.
  • Europe Research Clinic (coordinator: Prof. Matthias C. Kettemann, HBI)
    Furter Information
  • Asia Research Clinic (coordinator: Setu Upadhyay, HIIG)
  • Africa Research Clinic (coordinator: Anriette Esterhuysen, Association for Progressive Communication)
  • Americas Research Clinic (coordinator: Dr. Heidi Tworek, University of British Columbia)
More Information

Photo by Conny Schneider on Unsplash
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Project Description

further information coming soon

Project Information


Duration: 2022-2023

Research programme:
RP2 - Regulatory Structures and the Emergence of Rules in Digital Communication

Third party

Stiftung Mercator

Cooperation Partner

Humboldt-Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft
Institut für Theorie und Zukunft des Rechts, Universität Innsbruck

Contact person

Prof. Dr. Matthias C. Kettemann, LL.M. (Harvard)
Senior Researcher "Regulatory Structures and the Emergence of Rules in Online Spaces"

Prof. Dr. Matthias C. Kettemann, LL.M. (Harvard)

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

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