The platform beat: Algorithmic watchdogs in the disinformation age
As digital platforms have come to play a central role in the news and information ecosystem, a new realm of watchdog journalism has emerged – the platform beat. Journalists on the platform beat report on the operation, use and misuse of social media platforms and search engines. The platform beat can serve as an important mechanism for increasing the accountability of digital platforms, in ways that can affect public trust in the platforms, but that can also, hopefully, lead to the development of stronger, more reliable, and ultimately more trustworthy, platforms. However, there are a number of tensions, vulnerabilities and potential conflicts of interest that characterize the platform beat. This article explores these complex dynamics of the platform beat in an effort assess the capacity of those on the platform beat to enhance the accountability and trustworthiness of digital platforms.
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