Chapter 1: Regulating online content moderation: Taking stock and moving ahead with procedural justice and due process rights
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The practice of content moderation, whereby online platforms monitor and remove harmful content, has proliferated in the digital sphere. Private corporations controlling digital speech raises challenges for democracies. Should, therefore, private power in the digital sphere be regulated, and if yes, should content moderation practices be restrained to protect fundamental rights? The EU has initiated a line of legislative efforts that together generate a body of digital governance norms for regulating content moderation practices. Inspecting these initiatives reveals that although they are intended to enshrine human rights guarantees in the digital sphere, they have failed to provide individual end users with procedural justice rights, known also as procedural due process rights, to protect them against the online platforms. Although the principles of transparency and accountability are praised in the preambles of these legislative initiatives, they are not translated into concrete obligations.