New article by ZeMKI member Dr Jens Pohlmann and colleagues published

The content of the article deals with platform regulation and "overblocking", using the example of the NetzDG. In cooperation with Dr Adrien Barbaresi and Dr Peter Leinen.

The publication by ZeMKI member Dr Jens Pohlmann entitled Platform regulation and "overblocking" - The NetzDG discourse in Germany was written in cooperation with Dr Adrien Barbaresi and Dr Peter Leinen and covers the following topics:

The article analyzes the internet policy discourse in Germany in different media settings with the help of digital text corpora and the application of statistical methods. We examine the discussion surrounding the regulation of hate speech and freedom of expression online arising from the German Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG). Based on text and metadata from, first, tech blog entries and websites, and, second, articles from prominent daily German newspapers, we examine the conversation about one of the most important topics within the discourse about NetzDG, the likelihood of NetzDG causing “overblocking,” by applying pretrained transformer-based language models to detect and quantify recurrent arguments on this topic. Our research shows that the “overblocking” thesis (the assumption that NetzDG may lead platforms to delete more contents than necessary in order to avoid fines, which may cause a restriction of users’ freedom of speech) dominates the NetzDG discourse. In contrast, the “anti-overblocking thesis” (the assumption that platforms will delete content moderately in order not to irritate their users, since this would put their business model at risk) is hardly mentioned within the discourse at all.

This article is published open access in Communications. The European Journal of Communication Research and was generously supported by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), the German National Library (DNB), and the Central Research Development Fund of the University of Bremen.

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