Hybrid Governance or… Nothing? The EU Code of Conduct on Combatting Illegal Hate Speech Online

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Ever since the emergence of the social media platforms as the all-encompassing providers of communication, information and entertainment, the internet has been considered a community-made and governed space. This utopia, however, was bound to be challenged by the exigencies related to the spill-over effects of virtual activity to the very real, physical world, on the one hand, and, on the other, the need to regulate the nominally illegal behaviours of individuals in the virtual realm, such as online hate speech. The two phenomena are often inter-connected. Against this background, this chapter aims to shed light on the emerging role of the internet service providers (isps) who control the virtual environment where illegal behaviours may occur. Whilst not responsible for what, prima facie, is published, it is argued that the isps are an essential element in the enforcement of hate speech criminal rules, as confirmed by the european commission’s code of conduct on combatting illegal hate speech online. This governance instrument exemplifies the essentiality of the isps collaboration with the traditional enforcement agents in ensuring the blocking and removal of content online, as well as in subsequent criminal proceedings. At the same time, by involving the representatives of the broader community in monitoring the implementation of the code, the mixed hybrid governance and enforcement model offers a possible (even if imperfect) solution to the current deadlock in the regulation of internet governance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUse and Misuse of New Technologies
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Challenges in International and European Law
EditorsElena Carpanelli, Nicole Lazzerini
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-05648-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-05647-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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