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März 2020

The Future of Online Discussions – #FoOD2020

Update: Due to the current situation with regard to COVID19 (Coronavirus) the event will be postponed. The organizers will post information about the new date on their website within the next weeks.

At the conference Future of Online Dicsussion-Konferenz (FoOd 2020), Matthias C. Kettemann answers the question of who is currently setting the rules in online discussions and who should do so. The conference will take place on 12 and 13 March 2020 in Düsseldorf. Kettemann will give his presentation on 13 March.

About the Presentation

In online just as in offline spaces, the legislator has to provide rules ensuring that communications threaten neither individual rights nor destabilize social cohesion. Online communication platforms have a secondary responsibility not to violate human rights and to provide redress mechanisms when they do. Most have developed private normative orders that are progressively specific. Some platforms pursue financial or political goals and orient norms toward these. Others have attempted to establish legitimacy for their private norms by engaging with outside stakeholders in the norm production processes. As all relevant online discussion spaces are privately owned and many affect the aggregation and articulation of ideas essential to democratic decision-making, these private norms have public impacts. This is when courts come in. These have to navigate between the freedoms of platforms, the rights of users and the free and democratic fundamental social order. Understanding how the rules for online discussions interact is thus key to normatively framing the future of democracy and society in hybrid communicative spaces.


Those who would like to participate in the two-day conference can register by sending an e-mail to diid@hhu.de. More information about the program can be found on the website of the Düsseldorf Institute for Internet and Democracy.

Infos zur Veranstaltung


Haus der Universität
Schadowplatz 14
40212 Düsseldorf

Contact person

Prof. Dr. Matthias C. Kettemann, LL.M. (Harvard)
Senior Researcher "Regulatory Structures and the Emergence of Rules in Online Spaces"

Prof. Dr. Matthias C. Kettemann, LL.M. (Harvard)

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

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