Platform (un)accountability. Reviewing platform responses to the global disinfodemic one year onward

Meyer, T. & Alaphilippe, A. 2021. Platform (un)accountability. Reviewing platform responses to the global disinfodemic one year onward. In J. Bayer, B. Holznagel, P. Korpisaari & L. Woods (eds.) Perspectives on platform regulation. Concepts and models of social media governance across the globe. Baden-Baden: Nomos, pp. 509-530. 


This chapter compares Facebook, Google, TikTok and Twitter’s responses to COVID-19 and US elections-related disinformation in 2020, furthering our understanding of often opaque moderation practices. Most prominently, online platforms heavily emphasized amplification of credible information, including through provision of free advertising space. They also rapidly and regularly expanded their policies in order to ban, remove, demote or label disinformation as harmful but not illegal. In 2020, the editorial role of online platforms became visible as never before. Their ability to react quickly is both encouraging and worrying, if not accompanied by a known hierarchy of principles and stringent transparency and review measures.