A Model of Information Regulation in the Presence of Competition between Social Media Platforms

So Sasaki, Cédric Langbort

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Content moderation policies vary widely across social media platforms, with many prominent actors expressing reluctance at imposing strict regulation. One important factor in this difference and reluctance may be the competitive advantage that the absence of regulation bestows to a platform. Indeed, a popular platform newly enforcing content moderation may fear that it will damage its user base by causing users to migrate to another less-heavily regulated platform. Moreover, since the migrating users can continue their harmful activities in the alternative platform, such regulation may end up being ineffective against information pollution. The goal of this article is to understand this competitive aspect of content moderation on platforms by considering the motivations of all players (platformer, news source, and social media users), characterizing the possible regulation policies that can be sustained in equilibrium, and evaluating the resulting quality of information in each platform. The model indicates that a popular platform can enforce any strict regulation without losing users if (1) the platform provides high social interaction quality, (2) news information is diffusive among users, (3) the social network structure has cohesive blocking clusters, and (4) many users are distant from the influencer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-191
Number of pages6
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event9th IFAC Conference on Networked Systems, NECSYS 2022 - Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: Jul 5 2022Jul 7 2022


  • Content moderation
  • Game-Theory
  • Network games
  • Platform competition
  • Social media
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering


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