The Political Power of Platforms: How Current Attempts to Regulate Misinformation Amplify Opinion Power

I have been closely looking at the social media platforms (and their half hearted attempts for regulation). I cannot obviously comment on the legal merits to “break them open” and after a certain presidential candidate withdrew from the race, the issue has been sidelined or side stepped. The global PR machinery is more powerful than a blog trying to write about them. Conversely a paper.

The opening statement (and argument) is effusive and sets the tone. There are political undertones (and nuances) which I wish to avoid.

What if … Facebook was a government?1 It would govern a huge nation. With an expected rise in 2020 to 2.6 billion users,2 it would connect more people than are governed by any one nation on this planet. These people not only use Facebook to chat, watch videos or read news. They are also citizens with political leanings, interests and the power to vote. They are all united through one platform – a platform that knows more about voters’ personal preferences, political engagement and psychographic trigger points than many governments in this world. If Facebook was a government, it would have its own laws (actually it does). Like any state, platforms also have to organize their citizens, but their laws are not determined by democratically elected parliaments. These laws are given by the platforms to the people who use them, in the form of Terms of Use, Privacy Policies and community guidelines. Contractual freedom is the platform’s fundamental right, and because of the prerogative of contractual freedom, we have largely come to accept that these contracts and terms create quasi-binding rules or a system of micro regulation that, on occasion, can even overrule national laws – at least on the platform

Full article: The Political Power of Platforms: How Current Attempts to Regulate Misinformation Amplify Opinion Power

Consider this:

It is there platform. Their choice on how they wish to implement the rules (or interpret them) and balance out the narrative in the way they deem it appropriate.

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