As a populist political pendulum swings against Silicon Valley, it has become common to blame technology companies for the ills of democracy in the U.S. and abroad–in particular, the diminution and even the demise of the “fourth estate,” the American news media required for the functioning of free societies.
When the Youngstown, Ohio daily newspaper The Vindicator announced the closure of its print edition in the summer of 2019, the CEO of Digital Content Next, a trade body representing 60 internet publishers, tweeted a public letter to the local Congressman, writing, “You can send any thank you notes to Google, @RepTim Ryan.” “It was Facebook that started . . .
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