There was a time when large platforms could do no wrong. They were engines that facilitated free speech, political debate, and were seen as a revolutionary force for democratization. They were largely unregulated. In fact, they were accorded special trust and treatment, especially in the United States, where they were given unprecedented and controversial immunities from suits under the Communications Decency Act for enabling the dissemination of illegal content such as hate speech, defamation, and harassing information.
Then came the public revelations about false and misleading information campaigns, disinformation and manipulation of news, disseminated via the Internet and social media (referred to here collectively as “fake news”) of gargantuan proportions – Cambridge Analytica, Brexit, and the presidential election of Donald Trump, among others.