A Space for Everyone? Debating Online Platforms and Common Carriage Rules
Online platforms play a central role in modern public discourse. But while their moderation decisions can have a huge impact, there is often no recourse available to people or organizations who have their content or their accounts deleted. Concern about this power being exercised by immensely wealthy private organizations—and in particular with the unexplained way the power is often exercised—has led to many proposed regulatory reforms, including a suggestion that “common carriage” rules should apply to these companies, which would effectively require them to provide a voice and a platform to everyone. Could such a rule be reconciled with the platforms’ own First Amendment rights, and would it represent a meaningful improvement over the status quo? This panel will address these questions and more.