E-participation, the role of the state in the digital media order and platform regulation (social bots, hate speech, influencing elections)

The project circles around topics in the area of participation, information and freedom of opinion in the digital space. In this regard, the project will above all focus on three subjects:

1. The role of the state in a digital media order and regulation of platform intermediaries

Digitalisation will also change the foundations of democracy, especially of the media. Online services are increasingly taking the place of newspapers and linear radio. Should the state assume a new role in the digital media order? The project will examine how the legal order should react to the phenomenon of platform intermediaries and what regulatory reactions the convergence of the media landscape necessitates (especially with regard to public broadcasting).

2. Public relations of the administration on the Internet

The project will examine the question of what the characteristics of the public relations work of the administration should in future be. What rules apply if the state has resort to new media – for example, with regard to the YouTube channel or Facebook fan page of the federal government. May it for example also broadcast particular government processes (such as meetings of the municipal council) live?

3. E-participation

The project examines various forms of e-government that affect the democratic order by supporting democratic processes. The first question is whether the instruments of citizen participation will in future need to be modified. The state can support the process of forming a political will in the digital age by e-participation, among other things. However, configuration of digital spaces requires sensitivity. A functioning communication space that does justice to the expectations of its users is in conflict with state neutrality. Accompaniment of the process by moderation or facilitation may not exceed the limits of impermissible manipulation or censorship.

Contact us

Prof. Dr. Mario Martini