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Using experimental evidence to improve delegated enforcement

Fiala, Lenka and Husovec, Martin ORCID: 0000-0003-1437-0347 (2022) Using experimental evidence to improve delegated enforcement. International Review of Law and Economics, 71. ISSN 0144-8188

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.irle.2022.106079

Abstract

Digital content today is governed by online providers like Facebook or YouTube. Increasingly, these providers are expected to enforce the law by removing illegal content, such as copyright infringement or hate speech. Typically, once they are notified of its existence, they have to assess it and, if infringing, remove it. Otherwise, they face liability. This system of content moderation is a form of delegation of the state’s tasks to private parties. In literature, it is empirically established that some schemes of delegated enforcement can trigger substantial false positives, mostly due to over-compliance by providers and under-assertion of rights by affected content creators. This results in a phenomenon known as over-blocking: collateral removal of lawful content. We conduct a laboratory experiment to test a possible solution to this issue, as proposed by Husovec (2016). Our results show that an external dispute resolution mechanism subject to a particular fee structure can significantly reduce over-compliance by providers and improve the accuracy of their decisions, largely thanks to the content creators taking initiative. It does so by re-calibrating the typical asymmetry of incentives under the delegated enforcement schemes. The principles behind the solution have the potential to improve also other schemes of delegated enforcement where providers have weak incentives to properly execute delegated tasks in the public interest.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/internationa...
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
K Law > K Law (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D0 - General > D02 - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C9 - Design of Experiments > C91 - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
K - Law and Economics > K4 - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior > K42 - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2022 11:51
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2022 12:12
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/115456

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