Should users participate in governing social media? Philosophical and technical considerations of democratic social media

Severin Engelmann, Jens Grossklags, Lisa Maria Herzog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In recent years, a plethora of well-known data scandals has led to calls for alternative forms of social media governance. What challenges of institutional design would have to be met for developing meaningful democratic governance structures for a social media platform? Intertwining philosophical and technological considerations, this article explores the possibility and feasibility of democratically governed social media. We focus on the necessary technological requirements that guarantee secure voting for social media user participation. While we provide several arguments in favor of democratically governed social media from within, we argue that it should not be considered as an alternative to social media regulation from the outside.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFirst Monday
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 23-Nov-2020

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