Lab Platform Governance, Media and Technology (PGMT)

Session 5: Zheyu Shang – Towards a More Inclusive Platform Governance: Users’ Practices of Participatory Content Moderation on China’s Digital Platforms

Time and Date: November 14th, 2023, 14:00 CET, Online

Registration via this form.

The increase in creative online expressions presents challenges for platforms’ ability to detect and handle content violations. In China, digital platforms are held accountable for reviewing online content under current laws and regulations. Legal pressure and the sheer amount of user-generated content require platforms to innovate content moderation mechanisms and improve content moderating ability. In China, digital platforms like Bilibili, Weibo, and Douyin (TikTok’s Chinese version) have widely adopted a participatory content moderation mechanism, allowing users to participate in the judgment of content violation cases and contribute to a better online sphere.

Bilibili, an online video-sharing platform with over 300 million active users, was the pioneer in deploying this mechanism on a large scale. It launched the Disciplinary Committee (风纪委员会) in 2017, engaging users in content moderation to improve the online environment.

To better understand this mechanism and users’ role in content moderation, I joined the committee to conduct participant observation and interviewed committee members from 2020 to 2023. This talk will introduce the concept of the participatory moderation mechanism, discuss the platform’s design, and reflect on the evolving roles of users in platform governance.

Zheyu Shang is a PhD candidate at Leiden University. Her research interests lie in platform governance, political communication, and youth culture in China.

About the Series 

This talk is part of the series Behind the Scenes – Conversations on Empirical Platform Governance Research that invites scholars in this field to share their experiences and views, fostering  community exchange about how we can study platform governance in this challenging context. It is hosted by the Lab “Platform Governance, Media, and Technology” (PGMT) at the Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research (ZeMKI), University of Bremen, and the Centre for Media and Journalism Studies, University of Groningen.


Please register via this form shortly with an email-address for the full series or this event only, so that we can share the meeting link with you.