Investors are losing patience with Big Tech over its lax policing of harmful internet content

OUTSIDE THE BOX



Mark Zuckerberg wearing a suit and tie: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, one of several social media giants whose content is under scrutiny.


© Associated Press
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, one of several social media giants whose content is under scrutiny.

Free speech and a free press have long been recognized as hallmarks of a functioning democracy; in fact, both are enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. That said, it’s quite unlikely that James Madison and his collaborators foresaw an era in which the widespread dissemination of information — factually accurate or otherwise — could be achieved on a near-global scale and almost instantaneously. The challenges this reality presents are complex and formidable. 

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While the internet has often been heralded as the “great democratizer,” offering the potential to spread democratic ideals and expand intellectual enlightenment, more nefarious use cases have emerged. Social media platforms have been exploited by political operatives, who have used divisive and misleading content to sow seeds of discord and influence

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