Survey: First Article

Europe has no tech giants of its own. In fact, it’s only starting to build its single digital market. So the US probe into how Silicon Valley platforms are used as Trojan horses by foreign autocracies serves as a groundbreaking exercise.

Marietje Schaake, a Dutch MEP, notes that “the digital revolution has led to a redistribution of power, but not to a redistribution of accountability and oversight”. She adds: “The global tech companies are the new sovereigns, but are designed to maximise profit – not democracy.” She’s calling for “digital democratic conventions” that might help set up rules.

None of this is simple. But if there’s a lesson to be drawn from the US hearings, it is that the law of the jungle rules in social media. That has massive implications. With Europe’s populist wave still pounding the continent, it is high time for us, too, to find solutions. After all, if Russian troll farms can impersonate Black Lives Matter activists and white supremacists in the US, what can they be up to in Europe? And who’s looking into this?


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