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This contribution critically reviews the ongoing policy initiatives in Europe to impose greater societal responsibility on social media platforms. I discuss the current regulatory approach of treating social platforms as mere 'intermediaries' of the speech of others and propose a different perspective. Instead of perceiving platforms as intermediaries and facilitators of the speech of others, I view social media platforms as active political actors in their own right, and wielders of considerable opinion power. I will explain how taking the perspective of opinion power throws a very different, and rather alarming light on the recent regulatory initiatives.
Helberger, N. (2020). The Political Power of Platforms: How Current Attempts to Regulate Misinformation Amplify Opinion Power. Digital Journalism, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2020.1773888