By Peter Clark

The role of social media companies in content moderation takes center stage in the Section 230 debate. Many conservatives believe that firms like Facebook are mimicking state authority by censoring speech (Frederick,2023).

What if there is merit to this claim? By collaborating with the institutions of governance, private companies become an extension of the government.

This phenomenon is known as Institutional Assimilation. Through an organization aligning its conduct with the incentives of the government, it acts as a proxy. Acting as a surrogate for a government agency.

Institutional Assimilation subverts the traditional dichotomy of Pluralism and Elite Theory in political science (Gilens & Page, 2014). The faction within the coalition possessing leverage varies by situation. Regulatory capture (Stigler, 1971)would be an example of the conditions of the Section 230 debate in reverse. Lawmakers acting as stewards of corporate interests, become an extension of the firm.


Please log in to add a comment.

Peter Clark



Published: 1 Apr, 2024

Cc by