Don’t Shoot the Message: Regulating Disinformation Beyond Content




Disinformation, regulation, regulatory strategies, fake news, digital platforms.


This paper approaches regulatory strategies against disinformation with two main goals: (i) exploring the policies recently implemented in different legal contexts to provide insight into both the risks they pose to free speech and their potential to address the rationales that motivated them, and (ii) to do so by bridging policy debates and recent social and communications studies findings on disinformation. An interdisciplinary theoretical framework informs both the paper’s scope (anchored on understandings of regulatory strategies and of disinformation) and the analysis of the legitimate motivations for states to establish statutory regulation that aims at disinformation. Departing from this analysis, I suggest an organisation of recently implemented and proposed policies into three groups based on their regulatory target: content, data, and structure. Combining the analysis of these three types of policies with the theoretical framework, I will argue that, in the realm of statutory regulation, state action is better off targeted at data or structure, as aiming at content represents disproportional risks to freedom of expression. Furthermore, content targeted regulation shows little potential to address the structural transformations on the public sphere of communications that, among other factors, influence current practices of production and spread of disinformation.


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Biografia do Autor

Clara Iglesias Keller, Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institute, Hamburg

Coordenadora do Digital Disinformation Hub no Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans--Bredow-Institute e Pesquisadora Senior em Políticas da Digitalização no WZB Berlin Social Science Center. Doutora e Mestre em Direito Público pela Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – UERJ e L.LM em Direito da Tecnologia da Informação e da Mídia pela London School of Economics and Political Science. Autora dos livros “Regulação Nacional de Serviços na Internet: exceção, legitimidade e o papel do Estado” (LumenJuris, 2019) e “Media Law in Brazil” (International Encyclopeadia of Laws, Forthcomin


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Como Citar

Iglesias Keller, C. (2021). Don’t Shoot the Message: Regulating Disinformation Beyond Content. Direito Público, 18(99).