The Boomerang Effect: A Cross-Atlantic Approach to Content Moderation

Historically, Europe received U.S standards for online content moderation. In 'Importing America', this work argues that online moderation in Europe was influenced by American speech standards, interpreted in light of European digital constitutionalism. The E.U has replaced immunity with accountability, incentivizing an approximation between public and business actors. This paper inquires how the European model is being exported across the Atlantic. In 'Exporting Europe', this paper argues for the constitutional role of procedure in shaping content moderation. Appealing to the new concept of the Boomerang Effect, the paper argues that Europe is exporting a procedural view of content moderation back to the U.S. Instead of enforcing substantive standards, Europe is now pushing for the installment of due process considerations. By critically analyzing the proposal for a Digital Services Act, the paper suggests that the future of online moderation is procedural and content-neutral.