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EMILDAI Students Emiliano Vitaliani and Matias Gonzales’ Essay Published by The Yale Information Society Project

The Yale Information Society Project published an essay written by the EMILDAI students Emiliano Vitaliani and Matias Gonzales on the meaning of the term ‘community’ for platforms. There, the authors argue platforms use the term in two ways.

On the one hand, some platforms believe a community is created around the very same platform, making it a platform-based conception. On the other hand, some others claim they help communities to get together. In these cases, there is an interest-based conception of community.

These two ways of understanding community impact on platform governance in two ways: design and content moderation rules. A platform with an interest-based conception will promote certain interaction through design (reddit, discord), while a platform-based conception would promote wider interactions (Twitter).

Content moderation rules also depend on how platforms understand community. Platforms like Wikipedia demand for content neutrality in order to make the content accessible to every user. On the other hand, platforms such as Discord give administrators some discretion for setting content moderation rules.