The short history of online content moderation in Europe – issue of hate speech

The aim of this paper is to discuss how the boundaries of the online public discourse are being delineated overtime especially with reference to online hate speech. The social media companies govern the speech published via their services pursuant to sui generis internal policies. Such policies seem to align perfectly neither with the US not with European standards for what constitutes the legitimate expression. Rather, internet platforms become governors of the new online speech existing at the nexus of social norms, legal obligations and companies’ financial interests and underwent significant changes from the moment of the inception of social media as such. For example, lately Facebook changed its guidelines to allow call to violence against the Russian soldiers. Thus, the question arises how different forces might shape the online public discourse and how this sui generis system for what content makes legitimate part of online discourse compares to that in place in EU.