Future-proof and responsible regulation of the platform society

Online platforms play an increasingly important role in society, but their increased influence on the realisation and protection of public values, also raises questions. The Special Interest Group Future-proof and responsible regulation of the platform society aims to map the ways in which platforms can be regulated.

Increased influence 

We live in a society in which online platforms play an increasingly important role. Platforms offer numerous opportunities, but the increased influence of online platforms also raises questions. This holds in particular for the influence they exert on the realisation and protection of public values. For example, citizens’ freedom of information is at stake when platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter determine what we see, read and hear. Platforms such as Airbnb and UBER can exercise a major influence on people’s living and working circumstances, but do not always seem to be bound by rules and regulations that aim to protect public values.

Need for regulation

As the influence of platforms on society increases, so does the demand for regulation. However, it is not always clear whether a regulatory disconnect exists and, if it does, what form the regulation should take, and who should regulate. Moreover, the rapid technological development of online platforms limits the possibility for future-proof regulations that effectively protect public values.

This raises the question: if governments want to regulate platforms, how can they best do so? The purpose of this Special Interest Group is to facilitate research into the socio-technical context in which platforms operate, in addition it aims to map the ways in which platforms can be regulated.

Principal researcher