opinion | Mr. Musk, we won’t let you turn Twitter into a monster!

By Paul Midy (Entrepreneur and Member of Parliament for the 5th district of Essonne)

Posted November 23, 2022, 8:00 am

Three weeks ago, the richest man in the world, Elon Musk, bought Twitter for 44 billion euros. On the same day, he wrote on his Twitter account: “Bird [emblème de Twitter] is released. Free from what? According to him, the social network would not provide sufficient guarantees for freedom of expression.

But this “bird” already seemed very free. A great place for discussion, Twitter is also about fake news, racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and free-flowing hate speech. Everything that a person would give up in physical life is accepted there.

As soon as Elon Musk arrived, he fired half of Twitter’s staff, including a large section of its moderators: people you can turn to when you’re a victim of stalking, “revenge porn” or come across content that promotes terrorism. The names of Samuel Paty or Mila remind us of the importance of moderation.

DSA and DMA impose obligations

No, the theme is not to free the bluebird, but to prevent it from becoming a monster and try to turn it into a dove. In short, to move from the current Far West of social networks to the spaces of civilized life.

We need more protection for our fellow citizens, not less. In Europe, it was this intuition that led us to adopt the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in June 2022 on the occasion of the French Presidency of the European Union. These rules should ensure that what is illegal in the physical world is illegal in the digital world while fighting against the quasi-monopolies of the digital giants.

With DSA, Twitter, Facebook or TikTok will have stronger moderation obligations: quick removal of content, ability for users to challenge decisions, etc. Platforms will have to be transparent about their moderation activities and appoint a legal representative in Europe. If they do not fulfill their obligations, the European Commission can fine them up to 6% of the world turnover!

Commitment to limit “bubble effects”.

Many other protective measures are planned. Platforms will be committed to limiting “bubble effects” and they will no longer be able to share your personal data without your consent. Platforms like Amazon or Wish will have additional obligations, such as seller tracking and information on banned products in Europe.

These DSA and DMA regulations will apply from 2023 after they are passed by Parliament. They will be additional tools for the government, under the aegis of Digital Minister Jean-Noël Barrot, to continue our fight to protect our citizens in their online lives. Elon Musk and his new bird will have to follow suit next year.

Recruitment of Cyber ​​Patrol Officers

If these rules give us a head start on other continents, they don’t exhaust the thinking we need to do to make our online lives completely civil. Can we leave the sole responsibility for moderation to the staff of these platforms? Isn’t this a form of privatization of policing in the digital world? Emmanuel Macron’s program provides a first response by proposing the hiring of cyber-patrol officers to ensure online safety.

Can we allow a sense of impunity to continue for people who believe they are anonymous on social media? Are digital worlds the only place where identity checks are banned? If these questions lead to complex technical discussions, they should be at the center of our future thinking. Otherwise, Elon Musk risks answering it before us, in 280 characters on Twitter.

Paul Midy Renaissance MP for Essonne.

with Valerie Hayer, Stephanie Yon-Courtin, Sandro GoziUpdate Members of the European Parliament.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *