The platform governance project: Rethinking internet regulation as media policy

The platform governance project

There is a growing debate worldwide about the political, economic and social power of digital platform companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. The Platform Governance Project considers the media policy and regulation implications of conceiving of digital platform organisations as media companies, engaged in the public distribution of online content.

The Platform Governance Project will investigate the regulatory and policy implications of understanding global digital platforms as media companies. Responding to ongoing public concern about these companies’ self-management of online communication and social media, a team of leading Australian and international digital media researchers will evaluate regulatory approaches to mediating abusive, offensive, defamatory and potentially illegal digital content.

Drawing on a multidisciplinary team of researchers across the fields of communication and media studies, law and economics, the project examines the shifting balance between government regulation and self-regulation, and national content regulation in an age of global digital platforms.

This project will address these concerns by developing detailed recommendation for reform based on case studies in Australia, the EU, the US and New Zealand, enabling media policy makers to more effectively regulate digital media platforms to better align with contemporary public interest rationales. In doing so, it will provide new insights for media policy makers and regulators in rethinking content regulation in the public interest.

Platform Governance Project team members:

Terry Flew, Professor of Communication & Creative Industries, Queensland University of Technology, Australia (; @terryflew123)

Dr. Fiona Martin, Department of Media and Communication, University of Sydney, Australia (; @media_republik)

Associate Professor Nicolas Suzor, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Australia (;

Associate Professor Tim Dwyer, Department of Media and Communication, University of Sydney, Australia (; @timothy_dwyer)

Professor Philip Napoli, Shepley Professor of Public Policy, Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, USA (; @pmnapoli)

Professor Josef Trappel, Professor of Media Policy and Media Economics, University of Salzburg, Austria (

DMRC research program

This project contributes to the research within the following DMRC research program:

Governing Digital Societies

Project team


Project funding

  • ARC Discovery Project (2019-2021)

Project research and submissions

Flew, Terry, Martin, Fiona, Suzor, Nicolas (2019) Internet regulation as media policy: Rethinking the question of digital communication platform governance Journal of Digital Media and Policy, 10 (1), pp.33-50. []
Flew, Terry, Martin, Fiona, Gillett, Rosalie (2019) Submission to the Digital Platforms Inquiry []
Flew, Terry, Dwyer, Timothy (2019) Response to ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry Preliminary Report []

Mark Zuckerberg in front of photographers