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What’s wrong with relying on targeted advertising? Targeting the business model of social media platforms


Young Kim, Hwa (2024). What’s wrong with relying on targeted advertising? Targeting the business model of social media platforms. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Social media platforms play a central role in the structure of political discourse today. It is imperative to theorise about why and how we should regulate these institutions to manage some of the problems they raise for political discourse, namely misinformation and disinformation, hate speech, and polarising content. In this paper, I scrutinise their business models to form a basis of justification and strategy to regulate social media platforms. I argue that, in virtue of their business models, platforms are morally complicit with malicious actors in quickly and widely spreading their disinformation, hate speech, and provocative claims. I do this by rejecting the claim that platforms are merely intermediaries that reflect their users popular preferences and therefore cannot be complicitous with malicious actors as they have no intentional participation. With this basis of justifying regulation, I propose a progressive tax on platforms advertising revenue based on the number of users they have and show how this is preferable to banning the business model. This can remove the main incentive social media platforms have to be complicit with malicious actors without further consolidating the ‘winner take all’ nature of the social media market.

Abstract

Social media platforms play a central role in the structure of political discourse today. It is imperative to theorise about why and how we should regulate these institutions to manage some of the problems they raise for political discourse, namely misinformation and disinformation, hate speech, and polarising content. In this paper, I scrutinise their business models to form a basis of justification and strategy to regulate social media platforms. I argue that, in virtue of their business models, platforms are morally complicit with malicious actors in quickly and widely spreading their disinformation, hate speech, and provocative claims. I do this by rejecting the claim that platforms are merely intermediaries that reflect their users popular preferences and therefore cannot be complicitous with malicious actors as they have no intentional participation. With this basis of justifying regulation, I propose a progressive tax on platforms advertising revenue based on the number of users they have and show how this is preferable to banning the business model. This can remove the main incentive social media platforms have to be complicit with malicious actors without further consolidating the ‘winner take all’ nature of the social media market.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology and the Study of Religion > Center for Ethics
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Philosophy
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Moral complicity, Business models, Targeted advertising, Dominant platforms, Taxation
Language:English
Date:29 January 2024
Deposited On:22 Mar 2024 10:19
Last Modified:07 May 2024 16:00
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1369-8230
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/13698230.2024.2309047