Change society-wide structural & systems issues to re-establish citizen power

This section focuses on structural and systemic change, addressing for example the disproportionate power of the tech giants vis-a-vis governments, citizens and their domestic competitors.

Reduce the power of private platforms by:

Regulating platforms like other industries. Currently, regulatory debates largely centre around defining the structure, terms and conditions of what kind of industry private intermediaries represent. How platforms should be regulated or governed thus partly hinges on how these services are defined; for example, whether social media platforms are media companies, public spaces, utilities or some other service largely informs how they can ultimately be governed. There is little or no empirical evidence to show how regulation in this area would or would not work, and therefore adaptive approaches to policy and regulation will be needed. This will involve ensuring that the impacts of any change are regularly monitored and   changes made as needed in response to those findings.

Introducing new modes of collective action. Under industrial capitalism we had collective bargaining, the strike – e.g., forms of collective action that were sanctioned by law and had the support of a society that allowed people to tame capitalism with legal protection. In relation to digital media researchers suggest there are opportunities for more collective action both by tech workers, demanding for example more ethical design in the products they work on, and by digital media users. New forms of collective, collaborative action that connect users/consumers with the market and state to tame and outlaw surveillance capitalism are suggested by multiple researchers, but again there is no empirical testing to yet drawn upon.

Combat fake news by:

Supporting a vibrant and diverse media sphere. One that balances strong, independent and adequately resourced public service media with a non-concentrated commercial media sector. Although there is an existing body of research showing the positive impact of a vibrant and healthy public and independent media on democracy, the specific impact of investing in media in the context of digital media is a widely proposed but as yet unmeasured idea.