Making the Internet Safe for Democracy

Issue Date April 2021
Volume 32
Issue 2
Page Numbers 37–44
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The power of large internet platforms to amplify or silence certain voices at a scale that can alter major political outcomes poses a grave threat to democracy. Approaches to reducing this power have thus far fallen into four main categories: 1) using antitrust legislation to break up companies such as Facebook and Google; 2) government regulation of content; 3) data portability, or empowering users to move their data between platforms; and 4) applying privacy legislation to limit how platforms can use the data they collect. Yet each of these four approaches is inadequate in its own way. A more promising solution lies in using both technology and regulation to outsource content curation from the dominant platforms to a competitive layer of “middleware companies.”

About the Author

Francis Fukuyama is Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. 

View all work by Francis Fukuyama