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John Bowers & Jonathan Zittrain, Answering Impossible Questions: Content Governance in an Age of Disinformation, 1 Harv. Kennedy Sch. Misinformation Rev. 1 (2020).

Abstract: The governance of online platforms has unfolded across three eras – the era of Rights (which stretched from the early 1990s to about 2010), the era of Public Health (from 2010 through the present), and the era of Process (of which we are now seeing the first stirrings). Rights-era conversations and initiatives amongst regulators and the public at large centered dominantly on protecting nascent spaces for online discourse against external coercion. The values and doctrine developed in the Rights era have been vigorously contested in the Public Health era, during which regulators and advocates have focused (with minimal success) on establishing accountability for concrete harms arising from online content, even where addressing those harms would mean limiting speech. In the era of Process, platforms, regulators, and users must transcend this stalemate between competing values frameworks, not necessarily by uprooting Rights-era cornerstones like CDA 230, but rather by working towards platform governance processes capable of building broad consensus around how policy decisions are made and implemented. Some promising steps in this direction could include delegating certain key policymaking decisions to entities outside of the platforms themselves; making platforms “information” or “content” fiduciaries; and systematically archiving data and metadata about disinformation detected and addressed by platforms.