Symposium: Radical Reforms - Bringing fairness to social media contracts
Utrecht University and the Verfassungsblog would like to invite you to participate in an in-person symposium on 'Radical Reforms: Bringing Fairness to Social Media Contracts', marking the first annual conference of the European Research Council’s Starting Grant HUMANads (Contract nr. 101041824). The symposium will take place on 16 and 17 March 2023 in Utrecht.
Transitioning business models
In a constant search of new ways to generate revenue, social media giants are transitioning from business models that have largely been focusing on (targeted) advertising, to capitalizing on the social transformation of influence. In these new ecosystems monetizing attention and parasocial relations, traditional contractual relationships are altered in ways we do not yet fully grasp. Gratuitous contracts with payment as counter-performance coexist with cascading new digital services around subscriptions, tokens, micro-transactions, and other forms of monetization that allow social media platforms to rely less on advertising business models.
Rethinking social media contracts
Against such an increasingly complex background, even basic questions relating to the expectations of parties (especially consumers) to social media contracts, or the nature and content of their performances threaten existing legal doctrines and fundamental principles aiming to alleviate the balance of power in these transactions, such as fairness or good faith. So what if we rethought social media contracts in a radical way? What values should we aim to prioritize in the relationships between users and social media platforms, and how can they be facilitated?
This symposium launches a provocation to its invited participants, in terms of rethinking social media contracts, whether based on insights from technology, behaviour and/or legal doctrine, to map and address the inherent vulnerabilities of this space and the individuals affected the most therein. The symposium will also feature a keynote around the benefits and pitfalls of personalization as a means to empower weaker parties in social media ecosystems (based on Ben-Shahar & Porat, 'Personalized Law').
The contributions will be published on Verfassungsblog, as a digital symposium, in early May 2023.
Thursday, 16 March 2023
9.00-9.30 Coffee and registration
9.30-9.45 Catalina Goanta, Contracts and Social Media: A Research Gap (Introduction)
9.45-11.00 Setting the Scene: The Social Media Ecosystem
11.00-12.00 Personalization on Social Media - Keynote
13.00-14.45 Contract Law Fundamentals for Social Media
14.45-15.15 Coffee break
15.15-17.00 Consumer Autonomy on Social Media
17.00-17.15 Jacob van de Kerkhof, Wrap-up Day 1
Friday, 17 March 2023
8.30-9.00 Coffee and registration
9.00-10.30 The Social Media Contractual Ecosystem
10.30-10.45 Coffee break
10.45-12.15 The Implications of Platform Power
12.15-12.30 Catalina Goanta & Jacob van de Kerkhof, Conclusions
- Start date and time
- End date and time
- Quinton House (Nieuwegracht 60, 3512 LT Utrecht)
- Entrance fee