IGF 2023 Town Hall #118 Digital Services Regulation and Regulatory Enforcement

Debate - 90 Min


With the proliferation of disinformation campaigns worldwide in online platforms, accompanied by issues related to opacity regarding how they process personal data and concentrate markets, regions, and countries from all over, the world has been debating how to regulate platforms offering digital services. One paradigmatic example has been European Union’s Digital Services Act, which has established new rules for platforms in the continent. However, other initiatives have also been approved or proposed in places such as China and Brazil.
A central discussion taking place in this field relates to regulatory oversight. Should there be a specific authority for regulating these services? What should this authority look like? Should it be able to punish or just advise the Judiciary, for example?
The goal of this session is thus to map what are the existent and the possible institutional arrangements that regulatory oversight for digital services can adopt while answering these questions, allowing participants to have an overview of how digital services regulation is being discussed in different countries and regions with a focus on regulatory arrangements. The discussion will be held under the scope of the launch of the preliminary paper by LAPIN on “Regulatory Authorities and Digital Platforms”.

The panel's structure will focus on constantly engaging with and obtaining feedback from the audience. It will be organized as follows:
The moderator will share a link with a poll to hear from the audience what questions they expect speakers to answer in the panel. The moderator will use a platform to create a visual display of the responses in real time for all to see.
Based on the speakers' backgrounds, the moderator will address questions to the panelists that aim to create a diagnosis of what is the state of the art on studies and legislation that address societal participation in algorithmic auditing or access to information about their functioning, as well as how important it is for algorithmic governance. The questions to be addressed will be extracted from the ones collected from the audience in the digital poll, in order to make the panel as suitable as possible to the expectations of the participants in the room. The moderators will also interchangeably make questions of their own if there’s not enough feedback from the audience.
After this preliminary discussion, the moderator will split participants into breakout rooms where they will share how they see the issue and if their organizations have been working on anything in that regard. After these discussions, each group will select a rapporteur to share the views of the group to the audience. Panelists will then be encouraged to comment on the participants’ opinions.
Special attention will be given to the online participants, in order to stimulate global views to be exchanged in the panel, especially from organizations in the Global South.
We will then move forward to understanding how in practice to promote such societal participation. Finally, panelists will be stimulated to trace further, practical governance proposals on the matter, including for regulation.
A final Q&A session will thus take place.


🔒Laboratory of Public Policy and Internet (LAPIN)
José Renato Laranjeira de Pereira, Laboratory of Public Policy and Internet (LAPIN), civil society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Felipe Rocha da Silva, Laboratory of Public Policy and Internet (LAPIN), civil society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Alexandra Geese, European Commission Representative, public sector, Europe
Liz Orembo, Research ICT Africa, civil society, Africa
Tsukasa Aso, University of Kyushu, academia, Asia
Helena Martins, University of Ceara (UFC), academia, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Onsite Moderator

José Renato Laranjeira de Pereira,

Online Moderator

Cynthia Picolo de Azevedo Carvalho


Felipe Rocha da Silva


16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Targets: The panel aligns with Goal 16 of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Effective regulation and enforcement of legislation related to internet platforms is essential for protecting individual privacy, safeguarding against misinformation and hate speech, and promoting transparency and accountability. This is essential for maintaining trust in online interactions and ensuring that the benefits of digital technology are realized by all.