Keywords: Disintermediation; Neointermediation; Internet; Digital Platform; Democracy.
The concept of "disintermediation" has become one of the instruments used to interpret recent developments in communication. Nevertheless, in this article we shall demonstrate that this idea is in part misleading: indeed, while it may be true that the Internet has contributed to "disintermediating" traditional intermediaries (e.g. newspapers), surpassing in part twentieth century intermediaries, it is also true that large digital platforms (social networks and search engines) play an increasingly important role in organising information. Using experimental results and a theoretical analysis of large digital intermediaries, we shall therefore propose the concept of "neointermediation".