<are challenging to regulate> vs. <are challenges for regulation>

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Does "are challenging to regulate" mean "are challenges for regulation"? There appears to be nuance that is elusive to me.

Online social-media platforms are challenging to regulate, and policymakers have struggled to suggest practicable ways of reducing hate online. Efforts to ban and remove hate-related content have proved ineffective3,4. Over the past few years, the incidence of reports of hate speech online has been rising5, indicating that the battle against the diffusion of hateful content is being lost, an unsettling direction for the well-being and safety of our society.

Source: 21 AUGUST 2019
Strategies for combating online hate
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    The phrase assumes that the government ("policymakers") has the right to regulate these platforms. Many Americans disagree, because the definition of "hate-speech" is often mis-used to mean "any speech that disagrees with our view".

    Grammatically, the implied subject of "to regulate" is the government (law-makers, policy-makers).

    I don't see how changing a simple verb into its noun form helps anything. Your change is this:
    "it is challenging for the government to do" ==>
    "it is a challenge for the government to do"


    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    "are challenging to regulate" -- are difficult to regulate
    "are challenges for regulation" -- are difficulties that ought/need to be regulated
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