IViR Lecture: The Influencer Republic: Monetizing Political Speech on Social Media

IViR is pleased to announce that
Catalina Goanta & Giovanni De Gregorio
will give a lecture entitled

The Influencer Republic:
Monetizing Political Speech on Social Media

on Friday 29 April 2022

This lecture addresses the specific challenges arising from the monetization of political speech on social media, and propose a normative argument to extend consumer disclosures to political speech.

Political speech enjoys the highest degree of protection by national constitutions as well as supranational and international charters. Unlike commercial speech which usually enjoy less constitutional protection, political speech is the foundation of constitutional democracies. The blurring line between political and commercial speech introduces a new layer of complexity in tackling hidden political advertising. Indeed, political speech is likely to attract commercial speech inside a broader scope of protection with the result that potential limitations of this kind of speech would be required to pass a very strict test through the balance with other constitutional safeguards or legitimate interests according to the criteria of necessity, legitimacy and proportionality. This could also question the scope of other regulation designed to govern commercial speech like advertising. To this end, the lecture compares regulatory and judicial interpretations adopted in Europe and the United States.

Catalina Goanta is an Associate Professor in Private Law and Technology at Utrecht University and the Principal Investigator of HUMANads, a multidisciplinary Starting Grant funded by the European Research Council focused on the fairness of native advertising in the content creation economy. She also is one of the editors of the Journal of European Consumer and Market Law and the main legal expert for the consortium organizing the activities of the European Commission’s E-Enforcement Academy.

Giovanni De Gregorio is postdoctoral researcher working with the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford. His research focuses on digital constitutionalism, platform governance and digital policy. His doctoral study has investigated the rise of European digital constitutionalism as a reaction and strategy against the predominance of private normativities. By focusing on the intersection between European constitutionalism and technology with a transatlantic comparative perspective, the research describes the rise of digital private powers defining their standards of protection while competing with the normative order of European constitutionalism. Part of this research, which has been published in the International Journal of Constitutional Law, has been awarded the Leonardo da Vinci Price issued by the Conference of Italian University Rectors for the best publication among Italian young scholars in legal studies. His research has also been awarded the Euroconsumer Prize and the Common Market Law Prize.

Date: 29 April 2022
Time: 16.00 – 17.30 CET (Amsterdam)
IViR Room, 5.24, REC A, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam.
– Online via Zoom (you will receive the Zoomlink via e-mail on the morning of the lecture).