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Combating online hate speech: The impact of legislation on Twitter

Raphaela Andres () and Olga Slivko

No 21-103, ZEW Discussion Papers from ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Abstract: We analyze the impact of the Network Enforcement Act, the first regulation which aims at restraining hate speech on large social media platforms. Using a difference-in- differences framework, we measure the causal impact of the German law on the prevalence of hateful content on German Twitter. We find evidence of a significant and robust decrease in the intensity and volume of hate speech in tweets tackling sensitive migration-related topics. Importantly, tweets tackling other topics as well as the tweeting style of users are not affected by the regulation, which is in line with its aim. Our results highlight that legislation for combating harmful online content can influence the prevalence of hate speech even in the presence of platform governance mechanisms.

Keywords: Social Networks; User-Generated Content; Hate Speech; Policy Evaluation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H41 J15 K42 L82 L86 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-law, nep-net, nep-pay, nep-reg and nep-soc
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:zewdip:21103

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