How Big Tech could influence the US election

The most patriotic thing that companies could do is help democracy work better

I recently wrote that Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is the most powerful unelected man in America. His and the social media giant's efforts to try to combat election-related disinformation on its platform, however comforting, were merely "an admission of a great power that should make Americans uncomfortable", I said.

Some readers argued that I had it wrong. First, criticising the helpful efforts of Silicon Valley is counterproductive at a time when we need all hands on deck, they wrote. Second, I was too narrowly focused on one man. Mr Zuckerberg and Facebook are far from the only powerful entities who could, with a few executive decisions, meaningfully affect the 2020 United States presidential election.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2020, with the headline 'How Big Tech could influence the US election'. Print Edition | Subscribe