Our democracy should be controlled by “We the People,” not by private companies.
Large social media platforms have amassed unprecedented power over the flow of information and political discourse, assuming the role of gatekeepers of our public square. Over the years, their business models and algorithms — designed to maximize attention, engagement, and outrage — have degraded the quality of information online while boosting disinformation, lies, and propaganda.
Digital and social media platforms face little regulatory scrutiny and have limited incentives to stop the spread of harmful content. Efforts at “self-regulation” fall short of what’s needed and frequently lack enforcement. In addition, large technology companies abuse their market power to remove meaningful alternatives for consumers.
The end result is a social media landscape that divides us into echo chambers and rewards inflammatory content, while our democracy suffers.
Digital and social media platforms have shown they cannot be trusted with so much power. Congress must step in to pass laws that protect our democracy and our communities. Laws must prioritize democracy over corporate profits — including considering reforms to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, ensuring that platforms’ algorithms are not at odds with democracy, and updating antitrust rules to address the challenges posed by digital platforms.