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Jens Pohlmann, “Platform Regulation and the Digital Public Sphere: Comparing the Discourse in Germany and the United States”

Thursday, March 31 @ 5:00 pm 6:30 pm EDT

This event is virtual and will be streamed live on Zoom (mit.zoom.us/j/96579656038) and recorded.


In this talk, Jens Pohlmann compares the discourse about the regulation of social media platforms and its effect on freedom of expression in Germany and the United States. Drawing on computational methods, he analyzes the discussion about a German anti-hate speech law called the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) and the debate about a reform of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in the United States in different media environments (IT-blogs, newspapers, social media).

Ultimately, he considers the extent to which cultural, historical, and political differences between these two liberal democracies inform the present transatlantic debate about the restriction of content online and the regulation of social media platforms, as well as potential impacts on the evolving digital public sphere.

Photo of Jens Pohlmann

Jens Pohlmann is a Research Associate at the Centre for Media, Communication & Information Research (ZeMKI) at the University of Bremen. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2017 and focuses his research on the internet policy discourse in Germany and the United States. His first book, The Creation of an Avant-Garde Brand: Heiner Müller’s Self-Presentation in the German Public Sphere is to be published this fall.