Digital Legal Lab

seminar series on the dsa & dma

Digital Legal Lab researchers from all four partner universities are joining forces to address legal, regulatory and other questions around the Digital Services Act & Digital Markets Act. On this page, you can find seminar reports and updates.

Seminar 1: Social Media Content
Moderation & the Digital Services Act

April 2021
Seminar report
Written by prof. Pietro Ortolani

On Friday 9 April, a group of researchers from the Digital Legal Lab held a seminar on the topic of social media content moderation, and the future potential impact of the Digital Services Act in this field. The group started by mapping out some of the most problematic aspects in the current landscape of social media content moderation. The researchers agreed on the need for a more granular approach; while “content moderation” remains a useful general label from an Internet governance perspective, not all categories of content (and of disputes arising therefrom) are comparable, and adaptive solutions must be devised. The breadth of legal and societal issues underlying content moderation remains underexplored, and the group agreed that more research in this respect would be beneficial. Furthermore, the researchers discussed the related issue of platform liability for failure to remove unlawful content, and the links between these topics and the set of incentives that may (or may not) induce social media platforms to set up content moderation mechanisms. This interdisciplinary perspective also lends itself for future research plans, given its fascinating connection not only with economics (e.g. cost minimization problem), but also with other fields of law (inter alia, competition law and the dominant position of large platforms) and other social sciences (the power relations and fundamental rights consequences underlying content moderation). The DLS researchers will continue their work on these topics in the future.