Talia Bulka


The increased popularity of social media in recent years has brought with it unwanted consequences. Most notably, the world is experiencing a widespread epidemic of online misinformation and disinformation. In the form of news stories and advertisements, false information about candidates like Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump has spread over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Since false information is often more sensational than the truth, this information is reposted and shared until it reaches millions of people. However, the real culprit of this misinformation phenomenon is microtargeting—algorithms that exploit users’ personal information and previous media interactions to target specific posts to individual users. These algorithms send posts to users’ newsfeeds without regard for the credibility of the information, leading users to believe that what they are seeing is true. Further, microtargeting intensifies political party polarization because users are only shown posts with which they already agree. Can the government do anything about this? This Comment examines the extent to which micro targeting can be regulated without exceeding the confines of the First Amendment.