Decoding Platforms Authority / Dr. Tomer Shadmy

Date: 

Wed, 24/06/2020 - 15:00 to 16:30

Location: 

Zoom meeting

Tomer Shadmy

Major online platforms such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon function as regulators nowadays. These entities are not only corporations with great economic power, but also entities that develop and deploy an array of digital and data-driven legislative and enforcement mechanisms, transforming economic and technological powers into political might. The contemporary legal literature that addresses the data-driven corporations’ influence on individuals’ rights tends to center on privacy and freedom-of-expression issues, and deals less with the implications of the platforms’ political authority. This article approaches this lacuna, by  analyzing the quasi-sovereign power of the platforms, the threats it creates to users' political freedom and to the public sphere, and the theoretical trap that makes it difficult to address these risks. To resolve this bind, the article proposes the creation of legal structures that will allow users to self-manage via representative organizations. The integration of users’ collective voice within the corporate governance and decision-making mechanisms of the big platforms, could assist in mitigating the power disparities inherent in these platforms and in respecting, protecting and fulfilling the users’ political rights.

 

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