Over the past three years, the debate about digital technology’s role in society has gone through a remarkable transformation. Following two decades of techno-optimism, during which digital technology — social media, in particular — was left to be governed in a laissez-faire environment, we are now in the midst of a “techlash.” Google, Facebook and Amazon serve billions of users around the globe and increasingly perform core functions in society. The private gains are clear to see — these are among the most profitable companies in history. But in spite of the myriad of benefits offered by platforms, the costs are clear as well: platforms threaten our social fabric, our economy and our democracy. Although calls have been growing for global platform governance, no solution has yet been found.

Given platforms’ unprecedented influence on democracy and the global economy alike, establishing a cohesive framework for platform governance is crucial. First published online, this essay series on platform governance brings together leading thinkers to explore new models for governing digital platforms.

  • Taylor Owen is a CIGI senior fellow and the editor of Models for Platform Governance. He is an expert on the governance of emerging technologies, journalism and media studies, and on the international relations of digital technology. 

  • Pierre François Docquir is a researcher and expert in the fields of human rights law and internet and media law and regulation. He is the head of the Media Freedom Programme at ARTICLE 19 after joining the organization in 2015 as the senior legal officer. He previously served as vice-president of the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel in Belgium and was a researcher at the Université libre de Bruxelles, where he obtained his Ph.D. in law in 2009.

  • Joan Donovan is the director and lead researcher of the Technology and Social Change Research Project at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. Joan’s research and teaching interests are focused on media manipulation, effects of disinformation campaigns, and adversarial media movements.

  • Susan Etlinger is a senior fellow at CIGI, where her work focuses on artificial intelligence and big data.

  • Robert (Bob) Fay is director of global economy at CIGI and is responsible for research direction and related activities. He has extensive experience in macro- and micro-economic research and policy analysis. 

  • Michel Girard is a CIGI senior fellow. Michel’s work at CIGI relates to standards for big data and artificial intelligence.

  • Robert Gorwa is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. Robert’s work on platform governance has been recently published in Information, Communication & Society, Internet Policy Review and other journals. He contributes to the Los Angeles Review of Books and has written on tech and politics for Wired UK, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs and other popular outlets. He is currently a fellow at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society in Berlin.

  • After serving as president and CEO of Public Knowledge for five years, Gene Kimmelman handed over that leadership role in 2019 and is now the senior adviser. Previously, Gene served as director of the Internet Freedom and Human Rights project at the New America Foundation, and as chief counsel for the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Gene served as vice president for Federal and International Affairs at Consumers Union. Gene has also served as chief counsel and staff director for the Antitrust Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee and as legislative director for the Consumer Federation of America. Gene began his career as a consumer advocate and staff attorney for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch.

  • Kate Klonick is an assistant professor of law at St. John’s University School of Law and an affiliate fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. She holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

  • Sean Martin McDonald is a CIGI senior fellow and the co-founder of Digital Public, which builds legal trusts to protect and govern digital assets.

  • H. Nanjala Nyabola is a writer, political analyst and activist based in Nairobi, Kenya. She writes extensively about African society and politics, technology, international law and feminism for academic and non-academic publications. Her first book, Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics: How the Internet Era Is Transforming Politics in Kenya (Zed Books, 2018), was described as “a must read for all researchers and journalists writing about Kenya today.” Nanjala held a Rhodes Scholarship at the University of Oxford in 2009 and in 2017 was among the inaugural cohort of Foreign Policy Interrupted’s fellows and a Logan Nonfiction Program Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good.

  • Jon is a legal scholar and social scientist who does research at the intersection of law, technology and human rights, with strong interdisciplinary and empirical dimensions. He is a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School, senior research fellow on the Technology and Social Change Project at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, and a research affiliate of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.

  • Karine Perset is an economist and policy analyst on AI policy at the OECD, in the Division for Digital Economy Policy in Paris. She focuses on trends in development and diffusion of AI and on opportunities and challenges that AI raises for public policy.

  • Jeremy West is senior policy analyst in the Division for Digital Economy Policy at the OECD. Jeremy is a lawyer with experience at the OECD, the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, a Washington, DC law firm, and the New Zealand Commerce Commission. His OECD papers have been quoted and cited in scholarly journals, by the US Antitrust Modernization Commission, in The Financial Times, Yomiuri Shimbun and Kyodo News, and by an advocate general of the European Court of Justice. He currently serves on the editorial board of the online journal Oxford Competition Law and was an assistant, associate and senior editor for the Antitrust Law Journal from 2009 to 2017. After working in the OECD’s Competition Division for nine years, he moved to the Digital Economy Policy Division in 2013 to lead a multi-disciplinary project on intellectual property’s economic impact.

  • David E. Winickoff is senior policy analyst and secretary of the Working Party on Bio-, Nano- and Converging Technologies at the OECD in the Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation. 

  • Andrew Wyckoff is the director of the OECD’s Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation where he oversees OECD’s work on innovation, business dynamics, science and technology, and information and communication technology policy.

  • Victor Pickard is an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication where he co-directs the Media, Inequality, and Change Center. 

  • Damian Tambini is an academic researcher specializing in media and communications policy and law. He is currently associate professor at the London School of Economics (LSE), and also associate fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research and the Oxford Internet Institute. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and founder of the LSE Media Policy Project, and the Oxford Media Convention. He has acted as an adviser to the Government of the United Kingdom and to the Council of Europe and the European Commission. From 2002 to 2006, he served as head of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at Oxford University. Before that he was at Nuffield College, Oxford (post-doctoral fellow, 1998); Humboldt University, Berlin (lecturer, 1997); and the European University Institute, Florence, Italy (Ph.D., 1996). His recent publications include numerous articles on media freedom and regulation and the power of the tech giants.

  • Heidi Tworek is assistant professor of international history at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. She works on media, international organizations and transatlantic relations. She is a member of the Science and Technology Studies program, the Language Science Initiative, and the Institute for European Studies at UBC. She is a visiting fellow at the Joint Center for History and Economics at Harvard University as well as a non-resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.