March to The Middle? Herd Behavior, Video Economics, and Social Media

By Adam Candeub – 

The internet and social media have become our public square. If market dominance or unfair commercial practices allow dominant online platforms to diminish discourse, antitrust law and the FTC or FCC might respond. Developed to understand television markets, video economics, if applied to internet-viewing, suggest that the dominant social media platforms will produce an online experience that caters to median tastes. Behavioral economics, in particular research on herd behavior, bandwagon, and group polarization effects, suggest that individuals may tend naturally towards median views. Economic and behavioral effects could feed upon each other to exclude online minority viewpoints, leading not to a race to the bottom but a march to the middle.

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