Should citizens govern Big Tech algorithms? 

Uğur Aytaç

How a lottocracy can help citizens to regain power 

  • 14:00-14:45
Zaal: Pandora
Language: English

The way Big Tech companies work can have adverse effects on democracy. The use of social media and big data to influence public opinion or even a country’s elections is just one example of these effects. Does Big Tech need to be democratized? Should our government regulate them more strictly? Focusing on the example of algorithms, Uğur Aytaç (UU) argues that neither the market nor the government is the solution. He suggests that Big Tech should be governed by lottocratic bodies, meaning that randomly selected citizen boards should hold the ultimate decision-making power about how algorithms affect our democratic public debate environment. For instance, this would include decisions about what sort of content algorithms should amplify on online platforms. What would this look like? 

Dr Uğur Aytaç is postdoctoral researcher at the Ethics Institute at Utrecht University. He is primarily interested in democracy, legitimacy, power & domination, the digital public sphere, big tech and political realism.