Tech Pluralism

Previously published at First Things on November 2021.


Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are virtual public squares, allowing individuals to communicate their views to wide audiences. At first, these platforms avoided regulating user-created content. But pressure from politicians, activist corporations, and users led Big Tech to adopt “content moderation” policies. Whether “moderation” is an apt term depends on one’s perspective. In January, Facebook and Twitter suspended President Trump’s accounts indefinitely, and Apple and -Amazon yanked services to Parler—Twitter’s right—leaning rival. At the same time, the platforms do little to curb bullying by users on the right and left.