Regulating Internet Services by Size
Citation: Eric Goldman, Jess Miers (2021) Regulating Internet Services by Size.
Internet Archive Scholar (search for fulltext): Regulating Internet Services by Size
Wikidata (metadata): Q108323845
Discusses the logistical considerations and policy pitfalls of size-based regulation of internet services. Overall authors conclude that good regulation should apply to all, and bad regulation should be avoided.
Why size-based regulation?
- target bigger producers of social harm
- reduce barriers for new market entrants
- because it feels fairer
Size metric options
- Enterprise age
- Market capitalization
- Consumer usage (monthly active users, subscribers, page impressions, etc)
Questions about metrics
- Is the metric published and audited?
- What constitutes the service? Suggests a "test suite" including NYT and Wikimedia to avoid false positives
- What is the measurement time period?
- How should metrics be combined?
- Increased adjudication costs: if modifying Section 230, would add element to weigh before dismissal
- Without Section 230 protection, services may socially suboptimally over- or under-moderate, or exit business (assuming size-based regulation limits 230 for large services)
- Unwanted countermoves: for any metric, large services can change/restructure
Theoretical and Practical Relevance
The authors did not address whether size-based regulation might achieve ends they say interest regulators ("why"), only touching on costs and uncertainty.