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How to Save Democracy From Technology

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying on Capitol Hill, July 2020
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying on Capitol Hill, July 2020
Photo credit: 
Graeme Jennings / Pool / Reuters
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Full article appears in the January/February 2021 issue of Foreign Affairs

Among the many transformations taking place in the U.S. economy, none is more salient than the growth of gigantic Internet platforms. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter, already powerful before the COVID-19 pandemic, have become even more so during it, as so much of everyday life moves online. As convenient as their technology is, the emergence of such dominant corporations should ring alarm bells—not just because they hold so much economic power but also because they wield so much control over political communication. These behemoths now dominate the dissemination of information and the coordination of political mobilization. That poses unique threats to a well-functioning democracy. 

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