The relationship between journalists and platforms in European online content governance: A case study on a non-interference principle
Published in European Journal of Communication, 2023
Amongst the many debates within the sphere of platform governance, one is particularly telling of the political stakes at play: how should journalistic content be treated in relation to content regulation? There is, perhaps, no better case in which this is playing out than the upcoming Digital Services Act proposed by the European Commission. Specifically, on the one hand, news media organisations have been lobbying for a дnon-interference principleе that would prevent platforms from moderating editorial content that has been published by credible news sources, while on the other hand, officials, platforms, and civil society experts have been arguing against such a measure, primarily, due to the risk of creating an exploitable loophole for bad actors. This paper aims to unravel the contentious negotiations behind this debate. This article draws from more than a dozen of in-depth interviews with relevant stakeholders. Finally, this paper aspires to help inform the multifaceted conundrum of who governs the contemporary digital public sphere, to further expose the risks of entrusting this task solely to social media platforms and, last, to contribute to a much-needed theorisation and reconsideration of news mediaеs role in platform governance.
Recommended citation: Papaevangelou, C. (2023). ‘The non-interference principle’: Debating online platforms’ treatment of editorial content in the European Union’s Digital Services Act. European Journal of Communication, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/02673231231189036 https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/02673231231189036