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Advances in Corporate GovernanceComparative Perspectives$
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Helmut K. Anheier and Theodor Baums

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198866367

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198866367.001.0001

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Media or Corporations? Social Media Governance Between Public and Commercial Rationales

Media or Corporations? Social Media Governance Between Public and Commercial Rationales

Chapter:
(p.249) 11 Media or Corporations? Social Media Governance Between Public and Commercial Rationales
Source:
Advances in Corporate Governance
Author(s):

Daniela Stockmann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198866367.003.0011

In public discussions of social media governance, corporations such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter are often first and foremost seen as providers of information and as media. However, social media companies’ business models aim to generate income by attracting a large, growing, and active user base and by collecting and monetising personal data. This has generated concerns with respect to hate speech, disinformation, and privacy. Over time, there has been a trend away from industry self-regulation towards a strengthening of national-level and European Union-level regulations, that is, from soft to hard law. Hence, moving beyond general corporate governance codes, governments are imposing more targeted regulations that recognise these firms’ profound societal importance and wide-reaching influence. The chapter reviews these developments, highlighting the tension between companies’ commercial and public rationales, critiques the current industry-specific regulatory framework, and raises potential policy alternatives.

Keywords:   social media governance, self-regulation, privacy, disinformation, hate speech, social media business models

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