Hannah Arendt’s conception of “the social” offers a novel perspective on contemporary debates over social media. Both critics and defenders of social media giants such as Facebook (now Meta) construe the problem with social media as a proliferation of untruths that is either the cost of liberalism or a danger requiring regulations. Arendt would have us be dubious of both conclusions while also rejecting both sets of premises. Rather, Arendt’s framework allows a diagnosis of the problem with social media as a deeper problem with the form of society itself, a problem that would remain untouched by increased regulatory measures against social media giants.

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