Red Lion Broadcasting Co. V. FCC and the Rise of Speech-Enhancing Regulations of Social Media Platforms

Cite as: 4 GEO. L. TECH. REV. 215 (2019)

Americans increasingly get their news through the Internet, and specifically, through social media platforms.1 In fact, Americans get more of their news from social media than from print newspapers.2 As the rate of this news consumption increases, two attributes of social media platforms become more readily apparent. First, these platforms play a filtering role, stemming from their status as de facto gatekeepers of an endless flow of information that includes news. Second, social media companies’ incentive structure as technology platforms, rather than as media companies, does not align with the values of the traditional press. These two attributes combine to threaten the marketplace of ideas by facilitating the spread of disinformation or other harmful yet engagement-driving content, or by suppressing certain viewpoints. This ultimately leads to an increase in apathy and suspicion at best, or polarization and radicalization at worst.

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Connor J. Suozzo

Georgetown Law, J.D. expected 2020.