Católica Global School of Law and the Católica Research Centre for the Future of Law have partnered with the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (CSLS) at the University of Oxford on a research project addressing the governance of online content and conduct. Particularly looking at Wikimedia, the research aims to investigate the origins and development of the Universal Code of Conduct. It will involve data collection through global interviews with Wikimedia representatives and a comparative analysis of other digital spaces' moderation guidelines, particularly on social media platforms. The work will be based on digital constitutionalism, private governance and field theory, and adopt an empirical approach.
Funded by the Wikimedia Foundation, the project is led by Professor Giovanni De Gregorio (PLMJ Chair in Law and Technology, Universidade Católica Portuguesa) and Professor Florian Grisel (Associate Professor, CSLS, University of Oxford). Following the news about the grant, Professor Giovanni De Gregorio commented that he was “excited to collaborate with Florian Grisel and to mix approaches on digital constitutionalism with empirical methodology”.
The digital age has expanded access to knowledge and information through various digital technologies, which enable people to access services, find resources online, create knowledge, and communicate with others. However, this increased access has also led to concerns about issues like hate speech and misinformation. Online platforms have established rules and standards to regulate content and maintain community values, with the Universal Code of Conduct being a noteworthy example of such standards in the Wikimedia community. The project’s goal is to provide insight into the evolution of Wikimedia's approach to addressing harmful content and behavior through the Universal Code of Conduct and community standards.