A challenge to democracy


Sir, – Your Monday leader highlights the reluctance of Governments to regulate social media platforms and the “existential threat” they “pose to our democracy” (“A challenge to democracy”, May 10th).

Perhaps the key issue is not the utterances of platform users but the power of the algorithms that promote them.

False claims by politicians and fake news of one kind or another are not new. Democracy has survived these and the phenomenon of pernicious anonymous pamphlets. What is new is the power of social media to target untruths, both signed and anonymous, to millions of readers.

US first amendment rights will frustrate the emergence of a satisfactory solution there.

In Europe, Ireland is in a unique position to lead the search for a much better way of managing this power and protecting European democracy.– Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.