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First Things First: Online Advertising Practices and Their Effects on Platform Speech

Gary, Jeff; Soltani, Ashkan

This paper will explore a framework for regulating platforms without mandating content-based restrictions. To do so, it will explain that the platforms have the technical means to provide curated spaces. The analysis will then show why an ex post content-based moderation system cannot solve the root problems faced by platforms. It will then examine the incentive structure created by the targeted advertising model and show that addressing those incentives would likely reduce the spread of harmful content on many platforms without running afoul of the First Amendment.

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