Glossary of Platform Law and Policy Terms

Willful Blindness

Author: Nicolo Zingales Willful blindness is a doctrine that is used by courts to substitute for actual knowledge, especially in criminal cases, where a defendant could foresee the existence of wrongdoing, but deliberately avoided making an inquiry about it. Black’s law dictionary defines it as “deliberate avoidance of knowledge of a crime, esp. by failing… Continue reading Willful Blindness

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User Warning

Author: Luca Belli In the context of platform governance, a user warning is a message directed to specific users by the platform operator, usually in the form of a notice or other format, aimed at alerting users that there will be an upcoming event that warrants the attention of the user. Such changing situation may… Continue reading User Warning

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Violence (Cyber)

Author: Monika Zaineriute Traditionally, ‘violence’ has been understood as the intentional use of physical harm against an individual or a group (Jackman, 2002). However, the rise of online digital platforms has challenged existing conceptions of violence and expanded our understanding as an act which can be perpetrated digitally (Corb, 2015). Violence, in the context of virtual interactions,… Continue reading Violence (Cyber)

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Utility

Author: Luã Fergus and Laila Lorenzon According to McGregor Jr. et al. (1982), the term ‘utility’ refers to any service provided to people, either directly (by public sector institutions) or indirectly (by public or private companies). The term is associated with a social consensus, usually expressed in the legislation, that certain services must be available… Continue reading Utility

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User-Generated Content

Author: Cynthia Khoo User-generated content (UGC) is not a new term in the context of digital platforms but rather was popularized in the earlier days of Internet intermediaries becoming popularized as mainstream spaces online, where users could congregate to connect and form communities, engage in forum discussions and other types of online dialogue, and share their writing, art, music,… Continue reading User-Generated Content

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User

Author: Luca Belli A platform user is any individual or entity utilizing the services provided by a specific platform. The Recommendations on Terms of Service and Human Rights developed by the IGF Coalition on Platform Responsibility provide a broad definition of a Platform User as any natural or legal person entering into a contractual relationship… Continue reading User

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Transparency

Author: Richard Wingfield This entry: (i) sets out the way that the term ‘transparency’ is used in common parlance and (ii) provides examples of existing regulation which relates to transparency. Use in common parlance To an extent, the concept of ‘transparency’ when it comes to online platforms should be understood as falling under the umbrella… Continue reading Transparency

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Terrorist Content/ Cyberterrorism

Author: Ivar Hartmann The concept of ‘cyberterrorism’ was initially targeted at virtual attacks to infrastructure aimed at disrupting a nation or region in the same way that traditional terrorist attacks do, with the same visibility and clear intent of spreading fear. ‘Cyberterrorism’ now includes the use of social media by terrorist organizations, a phenomenon that… Continue reading Terrorist Content/ Cyberterrorism

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Terms of Service

Author: Luca Belli Internet intermediaries, in general, and platforms, in particular, use to regulate the services they provide through standard contracts, commonly referred to as terms of service or terms of use. Terms of Service are standardized contracts, defined unilaterally and offered indiscriminately on equal terms to any user or to specific categories of users… Continue reading Terms of Service

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Technological Protection Measures

Author: Nicolo Zingales Due to the easy duplicability of information transmitted in digital form, copyright holders regularly resort to technical protection measures (TPMs), such as encryption-based paywalls, to prevent acts that are not authorized by the right holder of any copyright or any right related to copyright. The legal system reinforces this type of protection… Continue reading Technological Protection Measures

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