Platform Governance

Platform Governance has been an area that has fascinated me since graduating from my PhD in 2018. It intersected with my general interest in private governance, primarily because the United States has a strong freedom of speech component of any governance action.

In August 2018, along with Danielle Tomson, I co-wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about how private governance mechanisms can be a good way forward in keeping platforms accountable.

Following up on that, also with Dr. Tomson who presented it, I co-wrote a conference paper in 2019:

  • Multi-stakeholder Governance for Platform Tech and Content Moderation? A Discussion of Principles, Opportunities and Learnings. David Morar, Danielle Tomson. Creator Governance: Platforms, Policies, Rights, And Regulation; International Communication Association 2019 Post-Conference. May 2019, Washington, DC

Also in 2019, I published an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle arguing that Facebook’s upcoming Oversight Board would end up being useless and a distraction. I expounded on that in a long-form article with the Internet Governance Project at Georgia Tech. In fact, the Oversight Board has been a specific point of my work, writing several different articles in different outlets.

In collaboration with Chris Riley, in 2021, I helped build a private multistakeholder convening in order to kick off a potential layered approach to platform governance.

More generally, my work on industry’s attempts at self-regulation has also looked at the Digital Trust and Safety Partnership and the White House Voluntary Comittments on AI.

Since 2020 I’ve authored or co-authored pieces that focus specifically on legislation in the US (primarily Section 230), in the EU (primarily the Digital Services Act), and the UK (on the Online Safety Bill), as well as two brief pieces co-authored with Bruna Santos on legislative goings on around the world.

On the specific issue of transparency, I’ve argued that while it is not a silver bullet, it is a legitimate first step, both in solo authored and co-authored publications.