EPD joins 12 other civil society organisations in a joint letter to Commissioner Breton, Vice-President Jourova, and Commissioner Reynders with calls to ensure our online public debate is moderated and curated in a more transparent and accountable way by social media platforms.
Online platforms play a major role in our democratic processes today. Many people form their political opinions based on the information and news they get from social media platforms, and conversations they have with like-minded people on these channels. The integrity of the information environment is fundamental to a robust democracy.
But unlike offline news consumption through broadcast media, newspapers and radio, not everybody is consuming the same information. In addition, sensational and harmful information tend to go viral, amplified by algorithms that amplify such content. Algorithms decide who sees what information, without any democratic oversight into the way these automated decisions are made and their impact on democratic processes.
Therefore, this letter calls for the establishment of a regulatory framework for auditing the design of automated decision-making systems employed by platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Considering the impact of these systems on our democratic processes, we strongly urge for algorithmic inspections at the level of content-hosting platforms.
Below, you can read the full text of the letter outlining our reasoning for this proposal.