Public discourse in private spaces. A case for freedom of expression on social networks

The major social networks have caught up with the classic mass media in terms of their importance for shaping public opinion. This has triggered a debate about their digital infrastructure and the extent to which they must comply with free speech standards. My paper will present the arguments for and against a strong fundamental rights approach and the implications for the regulation of social networks. In doing so, I will explore whether the current conflicts over individual speech acts, the “deplatforming” of political actors and the various contestations of platform power give rise to transnational legal standards for freedom of expression on social media platforms.