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Making the Internet Safe for Democracy

Journal of Democracy from Volume 32, Number 2, April 2021 | Johns Hopkins University Press

April 16, 2021

Many people have come to see the internet as one of the chief threats to contemporary democracy. The internet, and large platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter in particular, have been blamed for the rise of Donald Trump and the populism he represents, the proliferation of conspiracy theories and fake news, and the intense political polarization afflicting the United States as well as many other democracies. Across the world, politicians with authoritarian leanings, such as Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines and Narendra Modi in India, have made effective use of Facebook and Twitter to reach their followers and attack opponents.