Public Debate

Despite journalists continuing to produce quality work, the inequitable and skewed distribution of media by big tech platforms creates polarized public debates. 
Facebook and Google have become responsible for the overwhelming majority of traffic to websites of news media. This has made journalism dependent on the ad-tech-driven logic of these two major platforms. Tech platforms rely on visitors spending more time on their sites and returning. To keep readers attentive and interested, they prioritize selective emotion-evoking stories through algorithms.  The structure of the platforms tracks readers into rabbit holes of stories and society as a whole no longer has common ground on which to converse and make collective decisions.

Here we share some stories on the structural nature of these developments and the impact they are having on people’s lives.


Ukraine: Government to get help from Apple

Poland: 200,000 attempts at spreading pro-Russian disinformation to Polish social media users

Poland: Google shown to have close ties to government

Global: ‘In the fear and uncertainty about the future, Tech companies sweep out all democratic engagement’

Global: ‘Musk’s Twitter Take-Over Is A Threat To Our Public Discourse’

EU: ‘We have to ask: Are we as citizens still in charge of our society, or are we just consumers now?’

US: ‘Facebook Executives Knew That Their Algorithm Was Driving Polarization’

EU: ‘Ad-Tech is hurting the quality of public debate and democracy itself, but there are alternatives’

Global: ‘All the Ways in Which Big Tech is distorting and degrading our public discourse’

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