The decision by social media giants to ‘ban’ outgoing US President Donald Trump immediately after the Capitol Hill incident had raised concerns and opposition from all over the world. While many left-leaning politicians ane media persons had welcomed it, many world leaders and experts had raised concerns over the political bias and subsequent political interference by the social media companies.
Worldwide, several policymakers have been raising concerns that while social media companies like Twitter and Facebook claim that they are an intermediary, and claim to believe in ‘freedom of expression’, they have been increasingly behaving like censor and publishers. Concerns have been raised that with their control and ‘watchful eyes’ over the opinions and information that significant populations in most countries share, these companies may misuse it for their own gain, bias and goals. Businessmen, politicians and policy experts all over the world had expressed concern over the behaviour by Facebook and Twitter.
Five privately owned, unelected, unaccountable American tech companies can unilaterally & simultaneously lock anyone on earth out of the internet – a basic modern right.— Jay Kotak (@jay_kotakone) January 10, 2021
Just because this time they did it to someone you disagree with doesn’t make it right. Dangerous.
In a significant recent development, the government of Uganda had banned the social media giants ahead of their presidential elections. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had voiced that she finds the ban on Trump ‘problematic’ because ‘freedom of expression’ cannot be determined by the bosses of online platforms.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who leans towards the Left himself, said, “How can you censor someone? Let’s see, I, as the judge of the Holy Inquisition, will punish you because I think what you’re saying is harmful? Where is the law, where is the regulation, what are the norms? This is an issue of government. This is not an issue for private companies.”
Big Tech already stands accused of selectively amplifying certain voices & systematically stifling others & the response of Govt so far has been below expectation.— GAURAV C SAWANT (@gauravcsawant) January 9, 2021
Will role of Big Tech be debated in Parliament? Big Tech should play in India by rules set by India. @Tejasvi_Surya https://t.co/pwXIzY5S6r
As per reports, the panel will send official notices on this regard soon. Reports have stated that the panel members have unanimously agreed upon the concerns over Twitter playing the role of publisher and censor. However, a schedule for the panel’s meetings is yet to be decided.