M-RCBG Associate Working Paper No. 197

Content Moderation in the United States and Europe: Similar Values, Different Approaches

Philip L. Verveer



One hundred years ago the eminent British economist Arthur Pigou identified the problem of externalities, of a business not absorbing   all of the costs associated with the goods or services it produced and sold. Classic examples of negative externalities are environmental pollution and health effects from tobacco. Today, in addition to the carcinogenic effects of chemical runoffs and first and secondhand tobacco smoke, we have to contend with a new
problem: the poisoning of democratic systems through foreign influence campaigns, intentional dissemination of misinformation, and incitements to violence inadvertently enabled by Facebook, YouTube and other major digital platform companies.

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