‘Lost in the marketplace of ideas: Towards a new constitution for free speech after Trump and Twitter?’

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Abstract

Democracy is in crisis and one core feature is a communications crisis: a failure of institutions to reliably generate and curate the circulation of information and communications. Capitalism, the internet and Covid have all been unkind to journalism: newspapers and their reporters have been decimated. Newer media – such as Facebook, Twitter and Google – have amassed enormous power in a remarkably short time. They are the new gatekeepers of free expression, as witnessed by the Twitter ban of Donald Trump. Social media platforms are also the bullhorns of disinformation: they seem to exacerbate polarization, sow distrust, speed the spread of misinformation and encourage conspiracist thinking. Can the media companies be trusted to self-regulate? What alternatives do we have? I argue in the end that the Facebook Oversight Board offers a hopeful model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-514
Number of pages19
JournalPhilosophy and Social Criticism
Volume48
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science

Keywords

  • conspiracy theories
  • democracy
  • Facebook
  • Free speech
  • hate speech
  • polarization
  • populism
  • social media

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