All FSI Publications Journal Articles

Amplification and Its Discontents

Essay published by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University

June 8, 2021

There is a popular line of reasoning in platform regulation discussions today that says, basically, “Platforms aren’t responsible for what their users say, but they are responsible for what the platforms themselves choose to amplify.” This provides a seemingly simple hook for regulating algorithmic amplification—the results for searches on a search engine like Google or within a platform like Wikipedia; the sequence of posts in the newsfeed on a platform like Twitter or Facebook; or the recommended items on a platform like YouTube or Eventbrite. There’s some utility to that framing. In particular it is useful for people who work for platforms building product features or refining algorithms.


Daphne Keller

Director of Program on Platform Regulation, Cyber Policy Center and Lecturer, Stanford Law School
Daphne Keller