Keywords: GAFA; Crowd Economies; Fake News; Platforms; Big Data; Algorithms.
Online giants Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon ('GAFA') store and process a greater quantity of digital data than any other company or organisation. This gives them a strategic advantage, and a set of techniques that can leveraged for any activity that generates large quantities of big data. The growth in data gathering is based on «crowd economies», which helps to explain GAFA's great capacity for expansion. Another characteristic of the GAFA companies is that they are platforms that serve as intermediaries between content producers and users of the platforms. This makes them essentially mass media companies, albeit with very specific characteristics, which require a special type of regulation. This can also be concluded from analysis of the «fake news» phenomenon, which was the subject of considerable discussion during 2016.