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Plattformregulierung im Superwahljahr 2021

Plattformregulierung im Superwahljahr 2021

In the run-up to the 2021 federal election, a team from the HBI collected real-time data in the project "Platform Governance in the Super Election Year 2021". It looked at how online platforms regulate the communication that takes place on them, how laws and local standards interact and how platform practices change in the shadow of EU regulation in the heated atmosphere of the federal election. A series of articles on the HBI's Media Research Blog accompanied the research and provided ongoing updates on its findings. Some of the blog articles are also published in this working paper. The project was funded by reset.tech.

  • Available for download free of charge: Hofmann, Vincent; Kettemann, Matthias C. (eds.) (2021): Plattformregulierung im Superwahljahr 2021. Ergebnisse rechtswissenschaftlicher, sozialwissenschaftlicher und datenwissenschaftlicher Studien zu Parteien und Plattformen im Bundestagswahlkampf [Platform Regulation in the Super Election Year 2021. Findings of Jurisprudential, Social Science and Data Science Studies on Parties and Platforms in the Bundestag Election Campaign]. Hamburg: Hans-Bredow-Institut, December 2021 (Working Papers of the Hans-Bredow-Institut | Project Findings No. 61), DOI: https://doi.org/10.21241/ssoar.76248, ISSN 1435-9413, ISBN 978-3-87296-174-7. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License CC BY 4.0.

About the Content

"Corona works like a burning lens" is a phrase we often hear in times of the pandemic. In other words, corona focuses the view on social phenomena and amplifies them at the same time. This also applies to the dynamics of the election campaign in the super election year 2021.

Eight major elections were on the German electoral calendar in 2021. In addition to the Bundestag elections, five state elections and two state-wide local elections took place. Accordingly, the political parties were more eager than usual to win the favour of the voters. However, how this election campaign is done has changed: Digital communication platforms, reinforced by the aforementioned burning glass, moved into the focus of the parties. The classic information stand in the pedestrian zone lost importance in times of the corona measures. The information behaviour of voters has also changed. Younger people in particular - but not only - are increasingly using social media as a source of political news. Added to this is a changing legal framework. The new State Treaty on the Media has only been in force for a short period of time, and at the European level, regulations are emerging that want to fundamentally (re)regulate the digital space. In addition, platforms are increasingly taking action against disinformation and applying a more robust model of content governance, which is also reinforced by automated processes.

This interplay of a special year for democracy and the increased importance of social media in the political context was the reason for the project "Platform Governance in the Super Election Year 2021" of the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI) in Hamburg. Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Matthias C. Kettemann, an interdisciplinary team examined the special features of this election campaign with a focus on content moderation on platforms. The project was funded by reset.tech. A series of articles on the Media Research Blog of the HBI accompanied the research and provided ongoing information about its results. Some of the blog articles are published secondarily in this working paper.

The articles first deal with the special conditions of the super election year 2021 from a jurisprudential perspective (authors: Matthias C. Kettemann, Vincent Hofmann, Julius Böke, Max Gradulewski, Jan Reschke and Leif Thorian Schmied), with the legal framework of the online Bundestag election campaign and the legal obligations of parties and platforms (author:s: Matthias C. Kettemann, Vincent Hofmann, Mara Barthelmes, Nicolas Koerrenz, Lena Marie Hinrichs and Linda Schleif) as well as the legal developments regarding platform regulation at federal and European level (author:in: Linda Schleif and Matthias C. Kettemann). Under the title " Watching the Election", Mara Barthelmes, Vivienne Gold, Lena Hinrichs, Vincent Hofmann and Matthias C. Kettemann also reviewed online election campaigning in the light of the Digital Democracy Guide. And Vincent Hofmann devoted himself to the legal aspects of (political) advertising on social media.

Apart from the well-known large social media platforms, other, less visible players act as quasi-content moderators. These include the large app stores of Apple and Google. They moderate content in a way that is difficult to understand, based on ambiguously formulated terms of use. The current law offers hardly any effective means to protect the fundamental rights of users or app operators. The drafts of the DSA and DMA, which also place obligations on app stores and other actors, go further. Vincent analysed what these obligations exactly look like and who is involved to what extent.

Christina Dinar, a communication scientist and social worker, turns her gaze away from the large platforms and towards medium-sized and smaller ones in her contribution. Manual moderation, which also takes the context of content into account, proved to be particularly time-consuming, but also particularly effective. Involving the community in moderation can be a means of promoting user identification with the platform.

An analysis of tweets by MPs and candidates in the federal election on Twitter, conducted by computational social science postdoc Felix Victor Münch, revealed that a relatively large amount of AfD members' content was no longer publicly available after a certain period of time. This could be a sign to create a "protected" space without counter-speech or the risk of reporting content.
 
The interdisciplinary view of various questions and problems enabled a comprehensive analysis of diverse problem areas. Some of the insights that were gained could be formulated as concrete recommendations for action for European and national legislation. 



The issues of the series "Working Papers of the Hans-Bredow-Institut" can be downloaded from the Institute's website. A printed copy of the booklet is available directly from the publisher for a nominal fee of 20.00 EUR.

Plattformregulierung im Superwahljahr 2021

In the run-up to the 2021 federal election, a team from the HBI collected real-time data in the project "Platform Governance in the Super Election Year 2021". It looked at how online platforms regulate the communication that takes place on them, how laws and local standards interact and how platform practices change in the shadow of EU regulation in the heated atmosphere of the federal election. A series of articles on the HBI's Media Research Blog accompanied the research and provided ongoing updates on its findings. Some of the blog articles are also published in this working paper. The project was funded by reset.tech.

  • Available for download free of charge: Hofmann, Vincent; Kettemann, Matthias C. (eds.) (2021): Plattformregulierung im Superwahljahr 2021. Ergebnisse rechtswissenschaftlicher, sozialwissenschaftlicher und datenwissenschaftlicher Studien zu Parteien und Plattformen im Bundestagswahlkampf [Platform Regulation in the Super Election Year 2021. Findings of Jurisprudential, Social Science and Data Science Studies on Parties and Platforms in the Bundestag Election Campaign]. Hamburg: Hans-Bredow-Institut, December 2021 (Working Papers of the Hans-Bredow-Institut | Project Findings No. 61), DOI: https://doi.org/10.21241/ssoar.76248, ISSN 1435-9413, ISBN 978-3-87296-174-7. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License CC BY 4.0.

About the Content

"Corona works like a burning lens" is a phrase we often hear in times of the pandemic. In other words, corona focuses the view on social phenomena and amplifies them at the same time. This also applies to the dynamics of the election campaign in the super election year 2021.

Eight major elections were on the German electoral calendar in 2021. In addition to the Bundestag elections, five state elections and two state-wide local elections took place. Accordingly, the political parties were more eager than usual to win the favour of the voters. However, how this election campaign is done has changed: Digital communication platforms, reinforced by the aforementioned burning glass, moved into the focus of the parties. The classic information stand in the pedestrian zone lost importance in times of the corona measures. The information behaviour of voters has also changed. Younger people in particular - but not only - are increasingly using social media as a source of political news. Added to this is a changing legal framework. The new State Treaty on the Media has only been in force for a short period of time, and at the European level, regulations are emerging that want to fundamentally (re)regulate the digital space. In addition, platforms are increasingly taking action against disinformation and applying a more robust model of content governance, which is also reinforced by automated processes.

This interplay of a special year for democracy and the increased importance of social media in the political context was the reason for the project "Platform Governance in the Super Election Year 2021" of the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI) in Hamburg. Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Matthias C. Kettemann, an interdisciplinary team examined the special features of this election campaign with a focus on content moderation on platforms. The project was funded by reset.tech. A series of articles on the Media Research Blog of the HBI accompanied the research and provided ongoing information about its results. Some of the blog articles are published secondarily in this working paper.

The articles first deal with the special conditions of the super election year 2021 from a jurisprudential perspective (authors: Matthias C. Kettemann, Vincent Hofmann, Julius Böke, Max Gradulewski, Jan Reschke and Leif Thorian Schmied), with the legal framework of the online Bundestag election campaign and the legal obligations of parties and platforms (author:s: Matthias C. Kettemann, Vincent Hofmann, Mara Barthelmes, Nicolas Koerrenz, Lena Marie Hinrichs and Linda Schleif) as well as the legal developments regarding platform regulation at federal and European level (author:in: Linda Schleif and Matthias C. Kettemann). Under the title " Watching the Election", Mara Barthelmes, Vivienne Gold, Lena Hinrichs, Vincent Hofmann and Matthias C. Kettemann also reviewed online election campaigning in the light of the Digital Democracy Guide. And Vincent Hofmann devoted himself to the legal aspects of (political) advertising on social media.

Apart from the well-known large social media platforms, other, less visible players act as quasi-content moderators. These include the large app stores of Apple and Google. They moderate content in a way that is difficult to understand, based on ambiguously formulated terms of use. The current law offers hardly any effective means to protect the fundamental rights of users or app operators. The drafts of the DSA and DMA, which also place obligations on app stores and other actors, go further. Vincent analysed what these obligations exactly look like and who is involved to what extent.

Christina Dinar, a communication scientist and social worker, turns her gaze away from the large platforms and towards medium-sized and smaller ones in her contribution. Manual moderation, which also takes the context of content into account, proved to be particularly time-consuming, but also particularly effective. Involving the community in moderation can be a means of promoting user identification with the platform.

An analysis of tweets by MPs and candidates in the federal election on Twitter, conducted by computational social science postdoc Felix Victor Münch, revealed that a relatively large amount of AfD members' content was no longer publicly available after a certain period of time. This could be a sign to create a "protected" space without counter-speech or the risk of reporting content.
 
The interdisciplinary view of various questions and problems enabled a comprehensive analysis of diverse problem areas. Some of the insights that were gained could be formulated as concrete recommendations for action for European and national legislation. 



The issues of the series "Working Papers of the Hans-Bredow-Institut" can be downloaded from the Institute's website. A printed copy of the booklet is available directly from the publisher for a nominal fee of 20.00 EUR.

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