Workshop: Empirical Approaches in Platform Governance Research by the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG)

The theory and practice of how major platforms for user-generated content create rules and technologies that affect billions around the world — and how different governance stakeholders seek to affect those structures — has become the focus of significant public, scholarly, and policy attention. In the past two years, platform companies have become notably, if not incrementally, more transparent about how they govern content, leading to new opportunities — as well as challenges — for researchers looking to understand contemporary content moderation.

In this virtual half-day workshop organized by the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), we are seeking to bring together an interdisciplinary set of researchers that produce empirical work on content moderation and platform governance across a variety of methodological traditions and approaches. We welcome contributions that make use of qualitative methods (e.g. interviews, ethnography, and policy analysis) as well as quantitative, experimental, and other research designs, across a wide variety of related topics (e.g. moderation and labour/outsourcing; government content regulation and policy; corporate rule-making and norm-setting) and issues (e.g. hate speech, disinformation, copyright).

Our goal will be to not only highlight the state of the research landscape as it exists at the moment, but to also to identify the major limitations facing researchers from different subfields, sparking collaborations that strive to move beyond those limitations and silos.

Due to the limitations imposed by the coronavirus crisis, the workshop will be designed for virtual participation via videoconferencing software. We welcome contributions from researchers located all around the world, and will work to accommodate multiple participant timezones.


A half-day workshop organized by the HIIG, June 17 2020. The precise format for presentations and panels will be determined depending on the amount of submissions received. Appication time ends on May 15.

More information can be found here.