The stakes could not be higher for finding a solution for how to regulate the global public sphere, with the survival of modern democratic governance hanging in the balance. The power the big platforms wield over public discourse has distorted the marketplace of ideas, to a point where there is broad consensus internationally that some form of state intervention is necessary. In the United States, that realization is particularly contentious as it is at odds with US tradition and the First Amendment, which favors competition over regulation not only of the economy but also of ideas. As frustrations rise over how to address these issues, and competing visions of regulation emerge from the Digital Markets Act in Europe, to the Access Act in the United States, to the Texas Social Media Law, alternative technical solutions, rather than political ones, look increasingly worthy of consideration.
In this context, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression and Justitia present the “Regulating the Online Public Sphere: From Decentralized Networks to Public Regulation” Conference, which will take place on October 3 & 4, 2022. On the first day, speakers will discuss new models of decentralized networks and, on the second day, the different regional approaches to public and private regulation of content moderation on the Internet. The conference is an initiative of the Future of Free Speech project.