Social media monetization: Legal tensions and influencer perspectives

GDS/ERC Workshop


New business models have emerged around social media platforms and regulatory frameworks are struggling to keep up. On social media you can stream your entertainment (e.g. content creators) and purchase goods or services advertised natively on the platform (e.g. through platform ads or influencer marketing) and offered through new social commerce affordances (e.g. Twitter Shops, YouTube live shopping, Instagram Checkout).

The current social media ecosystem is ripe with tensions emerging around the platformization of cultural labor, where content creators are a newly crystalized category of attention aggregators. From a legal perspective, a wide range of the legal issues resulting from the creator economy remain understudied, such as the impact of hidden/native advertising on consumer behavior or elections. At the same time, upcoming regulation such as the Digital Services Act is expected to have a major impact on this sector due to new transparency obligations and enforcement powers granted to national and European authorities.

Against such a background, this workshop stages a dialogue between social media studies and law, aimed at better understanding the emerging tensions and potential harms for the more vulnerable stakeholders in this ecosystem, namely content creators, particularly those engaging in influencer marketing, and consumers.

Workshop program

09:00-09:15     Walk-in

09:15-10:35     Audiences as commodities

10:35-10:45     Coffee break

10:45-12:05      Influencer perspectives: pain points and strategies

  • Chair: Anne Kustritz (Utrecht University)
  • Zoë Glatt (London School of Economics and Political Science), ‘The commodified self: Intimacy, monetisation and inequality in the influencer industry’
  • Sophie Bishop (Sheffield University), ‘UK Parliament inquiry into influencer culture’
  • Discussant: Bram Duivenvoorde (Utrecht University)

12:05-12:15     Coffee break

12:15-13:00     Social media and public values – panel discussion

  • Chair: Catalina Goanta
  • Karin van Es
  • Marijn Sax (University of Amsterdam)
  • Bruce Mutsvairo (Utrecht University)           
Start date and time
End date and time
Hybrid: Sweelinckzaal, Drift 21 & Online on Microsoft Teams

Registration form