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Regulating the Digital Public Sphere

Limits and Opportunities of Market Interventions

Platforms like Facebook and Google wield more power than most nation-states over our public life, but with no genuine accountability. They are society’s new operating systems, which profit from amplifying sensationalist content, undermine elections by opaque microtargeting of hateful messages, and eviscerate legitimate sources of news essential to a well-informed citizenry. The Open Society Foundations are working with partners around the world to re-invigorate our digital public sphere to ensure it upholds democratic values and helps strengthen communities.

This report shines a spotlight on the opportunities and limits of different approaches to help bring powerful platforms back under democratic control and allow digital infrastructures to emerge that conceive of platforms as public goods, not as purely profit-making ventures.

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