The paper presented in this seminar analyzes the impact of the Network Enforcement Act, the first regulation which aims at restraining hate speech on large social media in Germany. In a difference indifferences framework, the authors measure the causal effect of the law on the intensity of hateful and attacking language on German Twitter. The results show a significant and robust decrease in hate intensity, which is mainly driven by popular users and users who employed a relatively hateful language prior to the law. Additionally, the monthly volume of potentially unlawful tweets is reduced. However, user engagement with potentially hateful tweets increases as a consequence of the regulation. The results contribute to the ongoing discussion whether legal regulations are needed to combat harmful online content, additionally to platforms’ internal governance mechanisms.


25.10.2021 | 16:00 - 17:00 (CET)

Event Location