This article proposes to start considering the role that citizens play in platform governance as a way of critically reflecting on issues of inclusivity in and effectiveness of current decision-making processes. This article attempts to apply the above suggestion by studying citizensе discourse in recent European efforts to regulate online content. It does so by employing an experimental methodology, namely, a computationally assisted Critical Discourse Analysis on textual data derived from citizensе contributions to the European Commissionеs Public Consultations on three crucial regulatory texts: the Code of Practice on Disinformation, the Recommendation on Tackling Illegal Content Online and the Digital Services Act. The present analysis suggests that the EUеs strategy to advance participatory governance through public consultations seems to ignore citizensе qualitative input and, thus, the feedback received can be severely limited. Concluding, the article maintains that scholarship should adopt a more encompassing scope when studying platform governance, especially concerning citizen and user participation, beyond the traditional frame of participation through civil society representation, while critically scrutinising existing ostensibly participatory structures.
Recommended citation: Papaevangelou, C. (2023). The role of citizens in platform governance: A case study on public consultations regarding online content regulation in the European Union. Global Media and China, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/20594364221150142