Analysis of the proposal against Twitter Trumps revenge hits, the entire Network of the US President wants to make platforms like Twitter and Facebook for content liable. Regulation is necessary, but this proposal threatens the freedom of expression.Opinion Simon Hurtz2 Kommentare2Der US President Donald Trump prior to the signing of a decree that the freedom of expression on the Internet could have a significant crop.Photo: Doug Mills (Keystone)

Twitter has sent a reconnaissance drone, Donald Trump has answered with a nuclear bomb. So the events of the last days of the war rhetoric of US presidents together. After Twitter was one of the many false claims Trumps provided with a fact check, threatened the company with drastic consequences. It happens regularly, but this time he made the announcement: Shortly afterwards Trump signed a decree, the aim is not only long on Twitter. The network could change as we know it, forever.

The subjunctive is important: in All likelihood, the bomb will not explode. Almost all experts agree that trump’s attempt to write the rules of the Internet, it will fail. The decree was “simply illega”, said democratic Senator Ron Whyden, has worked 25 years ago is crucial to that law, the Trump is now attacking.

The so-called Section 230 protects website operators from prosecution, when users post illegal content. There are only a few exceptions, such as depictions of child misuse or copyright infringement. The law applies to large platforms, such as Facebook, Youtube and Twitter, but as well for small forums, Blogs and other pages with comment columns. The civil rights organization EFF calls it “one of the most important tools to protect freedom of expression and Innovation in the network”.

The opposite of neutrality

“Doing something”, should Trump the employees in the White house ordered, and an old design brought out and under great pressure of time pressed had been. This personal vendetta is short-sighted and amateurish, would lead to huge damage and pushes even in the case of conservative lobbying organizations to criticism.

Still, It raises fundamental questions. How much responsibility should bear the social networks for comments, photos and Videos, by the users in the world? Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok are just a service provider, the only platform available? Or should we treat them like the media liable for their content?

The idea that companies such as Facebook can be neutral, is misleading. First, you will meet already now, many millions of decisions per day, the same content with their own community standards, and delete posts. Secondly, sort, and weights content according to their supposed relevance. These Algorithms are based on hundreds of different signals, and users should keep as long as possible on the platform – this is the opposite of neutrality.

trump’s own Tweets could be the first

in Addition, there is a crucial difference between Facebook and about Newspapers: The group makes billions of people create content, publishers will produce them yourself. To treat both the same, would be disproportionate and would endanger the freedom of expression on the net.

It is important and right to regulate Facebook and Google – the attack on Section 230 is the wrong way to go. The company would then have to make even more content-related decisions, which should actually be in the hands of the courts. To limit the Power of the Silicon Valley, are other instruments, such as the antitrust law.

Trumps decree Should have success, he would probably be one of the first, the could suffer: His own Tweets could be a criminal offence – so that Twitter would be forced to Supplement the findings of the US President only with facts checks, but to delete completely. The company is already rehearsing the uprising: You’ve provided a Tweet from Trump in which he threatens protesters in Minneapolis, with shots, with a warning, since he is glorifying violence. In the sense of the public interest, the Tweet should remain online.

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