Fixing Social Media: Toward a Digital Democratic Commons
Kwet, Michael (2020) 'Fixing Social Media: Toward a Democratic Digital Commons,' Markets, Globalization & Development Review: Vol. 5: No. 1, Article 4. DOI: 10.23860/MGDR-2020-05-01-04; Available at: https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/mgdr/vol5/iss1/4
13 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2021
Date Written: September 29, 2020
In the past few years, Big Social Media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have received intense scrutiny from intellectuals. This article critiques the dominant strain of criticism, the neo-Brandeisian School of antitrust, for its narrow focus on “regulated competition” as an appropriate means to “fix social media”. This essay calls for a socialist alternative: a democratic social media commons based on free and open source technology, decentralization, and democratic socialist legal solutions. It reviews how existing solutions like the Fediverse and LibreSocial work, and how they may provide answers for a better way forward.
Keywords: social media, social network, Big Tech, surveillance capitalism, digital colonialism, digital socialism, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Fediverse, Mastodon
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