Users around the globe are being subjected to the norms set by US-based companies. “Code is law” in the sense that computer code constitutes privatised regulation binding all users. If YouTube wants to block, say, the sharing of content protected by fair use, there’s not much that foreign jurisdictions can do.

The same goes for speech regulation, content moderation, and freedom of association: The major social networks use algorithms and employee rulebooks to censor content, shape what people see in news feeds, and determine which activist and other social groups people are allowed to form on their platforms.

This means that users outside of the US are under the de facto extraterritorial governance of Silicon Valley.

Michael Kwet on digital colonialism.