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Facebook regulation: a process not a text

Andrews, Leighton ORCID: 2020. Facebook regulation: a process not a text. Presented at: PSA Annual International Conference 2020: Re-imagining Politics, Edinburgh, Scotland, 06-08 April, 2020.

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The 2017 Conservative manifesto made it clear that the party intended to regulate social media more closely than before. Since then, the Cambridge Analytica scandal has brought the regulation of Facebook specifically even more sharply into the public domain. Facebook engages the interest of a number of different regulators. Its scale and size, and widening range of interests, means that, leaving aside the domain of EU regulation, UK regulators including Ofcom, the ICO, the Electoral Commission, the BBFC, the ASA, the CMA, and now the Bank of England, and advisory organisations like the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, all have a role. Law enforcement agencies are also engaged with the social media sector. In recent years, academic attention to the challenge of internet governance and regulation has been most obvious in the field of media and communications. Some argue that this has led to an over-emphasis on issues of content regulation which have skewed the debate, although following Cambridge Analytica, data issues have become more prominent, and finally competition issues have started to be raised. Others have argued that the analytical tools of economists have been insufficient to provide regulators with the necessary discursive capacity to address the issues raised by digital giants like Facebook. How do we conceptualise the regulatory environment that affects them?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Additional Information: Conference cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 May 2020
Date of Acceptance: 6 April 2020
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2022 10:13

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