Article

What Social Media Facilitates, Social Media should Regulate: Duties in the New Public Sphere

Citation

Smith L & Niker F (2021) What Social Media Facilitates, Social Media should Regulate: Duties in the New Public Sphere. The Political Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-923x.13011

Abstract
This article offers a distinctive way of grounding the regulative duties held by social media companies (SMCs). One function of the democratic state is to provide what we term the right to democratic epistemic participation within the public sphere. But social media has transformed our public sphere, such that SMCs now facilitate citizens’ right to democratic epistemic participation and do so on a scale that was previously impossible. We argue that this role of SMCs in expanding the scope of what counts as fair democratic epistemic participation, and in becoming the providers of access to the digital public sphere, brings with it duties of regulation.

Keywords
social media; regulation; public sphere; rights; democracy; epistemic participation

Notes
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

Journal
The Political Quarterly

StatusIn Press
Publication date online11/06/2021
Date accepted by journal19/05/2021
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/32713
PublisherWiley
ISSN0032-3179
eISSN1467-923X