Prague, Czechia


filters to curating and ranking content on the entire platform with the “platform” layer providing little more than the necessary infrastructure (Fukuyama et al. , 2021, p. 8). While all authors acknowledge that there are many obstacles of technical and legal (especially privacy law) nature (once more, see Keller, 2021, p. 169) that need to be solved before their ideas could be fully turned into practice, they argue that there are many benefits to this kind of Internet architecture as opposed to the current state. As of 2019, the idea of reforming existing dominant platforms also has a concrete manifestation in Twitter’s Bluesky project, whose goal is to create a decentralised standard (largely inspired by Masnick’s protocol idea) for social media and for Twitter to ultimately become a client of this standard (Bluesky, 2021). 3.3 Decentralisation Goals A variety of goals and values is hidden behind both the existing and the proposed social media environments. Two ideas are strongly present in the “middleware” proposals directly above: the removal of platforms as the ultimate moderators of content and enabling different models of content moderation to users as well as creating the space for more competition and innovation in the “middleware” layer of services, providing better user experience in turn. The existing decentralised platforms (or features) have been built with various goals (often more at the same time), including users’ privacy (Diaspora), enabling community-based content moderation (Mastodon) or maintaining a free-speech environment (Minds), or even decentralisation in itself (Aether). 4. Role of EU Competition Law To deal with the research problem, the paper below builds upon Section 3 and attempts to connect the proposals therein and the framework of EU competition law. 4.1 Recognising the Goals Platform Decentralisation in EU Competition Law The first question is whether the platform decentralisation goals can be recognised by EU competition law. Naturally, competition law is not primarily bothered with decentralisation as such or with the perils of mass content moderation. While not completely limited to a single theme, EU competition law has been firmly rooted in the protection of (consumer) welfare, market structure, and competition process as such (Stylianou, Iacovides, 2020, p. 26). While the goals of platform decentralisation and competition law do not align at the highest level, competition law does recognise the values that are close to


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