To fully exploit that potential, and make the most of our civil and political liberties, the freedom of communication is essential. Our current online communication ecosystem, characterized by a few overly-dominant platforms and closely interwoven with the tracking-based advertising industry, frustrates civil society’s ability to hold power accountable and put forward new ideas and bold alternatives.
There are numerous Dutch examples of this. We’ve seen trans content being “family-filtered” into invisibility by YouTube, platforms’ automated content moderation being used and abused to silence Women on Waves, and Extinction Rebellion’s accounts being taken down prior to national action. Furthermore, the adtech industry leaves anyone who wishes to actively engage with public life vulnerable to manipulation and exposure.