Platforms

Our working definition of a digital platform (with a hat tip to Harold Feld of Public Knowledge) is an online service that operates as a two-sided or multi-sided market with at least one side that is “open” to the mass market

FTC's tech cases: Hits and misfires

With the Federal Trade Commission expected to unveil long-awaited antitrust action against Facebook in the near future, the agency's mixed record on regulating tech has experts viewing the case as a "put up or shut up" moment. Most of the tech cases the FTC has tackled involve consumer protection rather than restraining monopolistic behavior. Past antitrust investigations of tech mergers or companies, like a review of Google that ended in 2013, led critics to paint the FTC as toothless.

Tech firms fall short on misinformation targeting Latino voters, advocates say

Lapses in tech companies’ policies to address Spanish content led to a proliferation of misinformation targeting Latino voters around Election Day, according to several advocacy groups. Spanish misinformation campaigns largely mimicked those in English that cast doubt on the security of mail-in ballots, later calling into question the election results.

GOP senators berate Facebook, Twitter CEOs, who say they did the best they could during election

The CEOs of Twitter and Facebook defended their efforts to reduce the spread of online disinformation about the presidential election and the integrity of the US voting system as they faced an onslaught of criticism from Senate Republicans who accused the tech giants of censoring conservative views and favoring Democrats.

Seizing The Moment

Proposals to help guide our nation to realize the democratic potential of our media and communications ecosystem. 1) A National Strategy to Connect Everyone to Broadband Now, 2) Restore Net Neutrality, 3) End Rampant Industry Consolidation, and 4) Start on a National Discussion on How to Make the Internet Work Better for the US. So, let’s range widely. There are no silver bullets or magic cures or partisan solutions.

FTC Chair Issues Monopoly Warning as Facebook Decision Nears

The chairman of the Federal Trade Commission said antitrust enforcers need to be worried about dominant companies buying startups that are emerging competitive threats -- highlighting one of the main issues in the agency’s investigation of Facebook. Chairman Joe Simons said that takeovers of nascent competitors can be harmful to consumers and said that enforcers need to be ready to step in to stop such deals.

Biden Wins. Trumpism Endures. What Free Press Is Doing Next.

While we’ll remain vigilant for whatever a lame-duck President Donald Trump — or let’s face it, the year 2020 — might bring, we will be putting our collective energy toward repairing the damage done over the past four years, while diligently working to expand what’s possible in a Joe Biden administration and new Congress. Our immediate priorities include:

The fight over President Trump's FCC pick

President Donald Trump is pushing the Senate to confirm Nathan Simington, his hand-picked nominee for a seat on the Federal Communications Commission, but some don't expect him to get his wish. If Simington is confirmed first, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell "may see the bigger picture — keeping the FCC at 2-2 is better for a conservative approach to regulatory policy than allowing the Democrats to hit the ground running with a 2-1 advantage," said former Pai aide Nathan Leamer, now vice president at public affairs firm Targeted Victory.

Facebook ‘Shredding’ Fabric of Democracy, Biden Spokesman Says

Bill Russo, a Biden campaign spokesman,  lashed out at Facebook, alleging that the social media giant is “shredding the fabric of our democracy” in the aftermath of the election. “In the days after Election Day, Facebook is flooded with thousands of calls for violence,” Russo said in a tweet. “Some of them are taken down, but many are left up for hours, if not days.” Russo also cited theories about a fraudulent U.S.

Section 230: A Reform Agenda for the Next Administration

Section 230 has been the subject of bipartisan criticism in Washington, with both President Trump and former Vice President Biden arguing that the controversial law should be revoked. As the election has approached, a flurry of legislative proposals have taken aim at the law. This paper argues that the next administration should take a more targeted approach, focusing on changes that will deter some of the most harmful forms of speech while also preserving the features of tech platforms that are essential to online expression.