Report IRSEM No. 99 - 2022

The business model of content-sharing platforms and the supply of content moderation: Implications for combating information manipulations


New forms of conflictuality below the threshold of violence often unfolds in spaces that are created and administered by private organizations, yet the roles played by these organizations in shaping the context in which conflicts happen, and their motivations, is rarely explored in security studies. This note explores the role played by content-sharing digital platforms in shaping the environment conducive to information manipulations. The note clarifies the economic incentives and constraints under which platforms operate. These incentives and constraints shape the essential design choices made by platforms, especially regarding the potency of network effects. This makes content-sharing platforms attractive targets for information manipulators who adapt their tactics to this new domain, but also affects the platforms’ ability and incentives to conduct effective content moderation to counter manipulations. Using this conceptual toolbox, the note makes a preliminary assessment of the potential impact of the forthcoming Digital Service Act prepared by the European Union on platforms’ efforts to moderate content, and the possible responses of malicious actors.

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Chercheur(s) associés à cette actualité

Olivier Chatain

Professor, Strategy and Business Policy Department, HEC Paris