Tools for tackling Facebook
Governments need to deploy regulatory algorithms to monitor the likes of Facebook. And they should be used to collect real-time information on how such platforms shape what users see on their news feeds and timelines, argues Emanuele Giovannetti, professor in economics at Anglia Ruskin University.
He says this will require a good understanding of key features of different platforms, including the role of specific, influential users responsible for shaping opinion across networks.
Giovannetti adds that it’s very difficult to measure the market share of a platform, but suggests how regulators could do this.
“Even if you know the number of registered users, each one should have a different weight based on their number of connections, which should in turn be weighted depending on the number of their connections.”
He calls for a concerted effort to develop new tools to face the scale and the timing of “the threats posed by the enormous market power concentrated in the data centres of a few dominant platforms”.