Ongepast? De middelen waarmee en de gronden waarop lezersreacties worden gemodereerd.
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In this paper the author explores how Habermas' definition for the public sphere is, and might be, appropriated towards the internet, specifically in regard to news websites. It is argued that a network of popular (commercial) news sites might bring about a halt to the fragmentation of online deliberation about public matters. However, at the same time it is shown that the chances of news sites becoming an expansion of the public sphere are not fully realized yet. The author believes this is due to Habermas criteria of the public sphere and his theory of communicative action not being successfully translated into moderation policies and software design. In most cases implicit forms of strategic moderation are stimulated more so than explicit moderation. Thus, intersubjective communication carrying the free flow of extensive arguments is restricted.