Robert Gorwa


WZB Berlin Social Science Center
Twitter (Largely Inactive)
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Contact
Bios

I'm a postdoctoral research fellow at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. I do interdisplinary empirical and conceptual research addressing the politics of technology policy (making, negotiating, and enforcing), with a special interest in government-industry relations and emerging socio-technical governance arrangements in the platform economy.

I recieved my doctorate from the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. I am currently a fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) and Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), as well as a co-founder of the Platform Governance Research Network (PlatGovNet).

My first book, The Politics of Platform Regulation, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.

Publications

See also Google Scholar.

Closed publisher links are pink. Links to open access publications and preprints are green.

Books

  • The Politics of Platform Regulation: How Governments Shape Online Content Moderation.
    Robert Gorwa, In Press.
    Coming Soon from OUP

Articles

  • Moderating Model Marketplaces: Platform Governance Puzzles for AI Intermediaries.
    Robert Gorwa and Michael Veale, 2023
    SocArXiv
  • AI and Global Governance: Modalities, Rationales, Tensions.
    Michael Veale, Kira Matus, and Robert Gorwa, 2023
    Annual Review of Law and Social Science
  • Who are the Stakeholders in Platform Governance?
    Robert Gorwa, 2022
    Yale Journal of Law & Technology
  • Elections, Institutions, and the Regulatory Politics of Platform Governance: The Case of the German NetzDG.
    Robert Gorwa, 2021
    Telecommunications Policy
    SocArXiv
  • Algorithmic Content Moderation: Technical and Political Challenges in the Automation of Platform Governance.
    Robert Gorwa, Reuben Binns, and Christian Katzenbach, 2020
    Big Data & Society
  • The Platform Governance Triangle: Conceptualising the Informal Regulation of Online Content.
    Robert Gorwa, 2019
    Internet Policy Review
  • What is Platform Governance?
    Robert Gorwa, 2019
    Information, Communication & Society
    SocArXiv
  • Unpacking the Social Media Bot: A Typology to Guide Research and Policy
    Robert Gorwa and Douglas Guilbeault, 2018
    Policy & Internet
    ArXiv

Chapters

  • Democratic Transparency in the Platform Society
    Robert Gorwa and Timothy Garton Ash, 2020
    In Social Media and Democracy: The State of the Field and Prospects for Reform
    Cambridge University Press
  • Big Tech Hits the Diplomatic Circuit: Norm Entrepreneurship, Policy Advocacy, and Microsoft's Cybersecurity Tech Accord
    Robert Gorwa and Anton Peez, 2020
    In Governing Cyberspace: Behavior, Power, and Diplomacy
    Rowman & Littlefield
  • Prayer-Bots and Religious Worship on Twitter: A Call for a Wider Research Agenda
    Carl Ohman, Robert Gorwa, and Luciano Floridi, 2019
    In Ethics, Governance, and Policies in Artificial Intelligence
    Springer
    Minds & Machines
  • Poland: Unpacking the Ecosystem of Social Media Manipulation
    Robert Gorwa, 2018
    In Computational Propaganda: Parties, Politicians, and Manipulation on Social Media
    Oxford University Press

Reviews

  • Digital Oligarchy
    On Jillian York's Silicon Values, 2022
    LA Review of Books
  • How We Can Socialize Big Tech
    On James Muldoon's Platform Socialism, 2022
    Jacobin
  • The Last of the Unicorns
    On Siva Vaidhyanathan's Anti-Social Media, 2019
    LA Review of Books
  • Platform Moderation and its Discontents
    On Tarleton Gillespie's Custodians of the Internet, 2018
    LA Review of Books

Reports

  • What Can Be Done? Digital Media Policy Options for Strengthening European Democracy
    Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Robert Gorwa, and Madeleine de Cock Buning, 2019
    Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
  • Lessons In Resilience: Canada's Digital Media Ecosystem and the 2019 Election
    Taylor Owen, Aengus Bridgeman, Robert Gorwa et al., 2019
    Public Policy Forum
  • Glasnost: Nine Ways that Facebook Could Make Itself a Better Forum for Free Speech and Democracy
    Timothy Garton Ash, Robert Gorwa, and Danae Metaxa, 2019
    Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Commentaries

  • European Security Officials Double Down on Client-Side Scanning
    A few reflections on the transnational politics (and interest groups) driving EU draft CSAM proposals
    Robert Gorwa, 2022
    Lawfare
  • Expanding the Debate About Content Moderation
    A 'roundtable' piece with short inputs from a number of major names in the content moderation research space (honoured to be included!)
    Tarleton Gillespie et al., 2020
    Internet Policy Review
  • As Platforms Rely Less on Human Content Moderators, What's at Stake?
    Short invited contribution reflecting on the news that major platforms were ramping up their use of automated content screening tools in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic
    Robert Gorwa, 2020
    Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Regulating Platforms Softly
    An essay reflecting on informal and co-regulatory models for platform regulation; part of essay collection on 'Models for Platform Governance'
    Robert Gorwa, 2019
    Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Big Tech Hits the Diplomatic Circuit
    Summary of book chapter looking at the growing and unique role played by Microsoft in international digital policy - and their unique 'diplomatic' lobbying strategy
    Robert Gorwa and Anton Peez, 2019
    Berlin Policy Journal
  • What Policymakers Can Do For Europe's Digital Media Ecosystem
    Summary of RISJ report looking at sustainable media policy suggestions for the von Der Leyen Commission
    Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, Madeleine de Cock Buning, and Robert Gorwa, 2019
    The Conversation
  • The Shifting Definition of Platform Governance
    Invited contribution with some general reflections on how to understand and define 'platform governance' - both as a field of research and as a terrain of political struggle
    Robert Gorwa, 2019
    Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • How Mark Zuckerberg Could Save Facebook From Itself
    Op-ed with summary takeaways from RISJ 'Glasnost' report looking at the slow increase in Facebook's community standards-related transparency in 2018-2019
    Robert Gorwa and Danae Metaxa, 2019
    WIRED UK
  • Facebook's Decency Conundrum
    Print mag piece with some thoughts on the challenges of moderating borderline content (like 'art')
    Robert Gorwa, 2018
    WIRED UK
  • Twitter has a Bot Problem, and Wikipedia Might Have the Solution
    Op-ed looking at Wikipedia's bot classification and reporting system, and comparing that to Twitter's decision to privilige developer access over content moderation
    Robert Gorwa, 2017
    Quartz
  • Tinder Nightmares
    Op-ed applying some reflections from our Policy & Internet article on bots to an interesting (and potentially problematic) use of automated Tinder bots for electioneering in the UK
    Robert Gorwa and Douglas Guilbeault, 2017
    WIRED UK
  • Quantum Leap
    Essay discussing developments in quantum computing (and quantum resistant cryptography), and its potential implications for geopolitics
    Taylor Owen and Robert Gorwa, 2016
    Foreign Affairs