They feel that there is controversy. Yes, young briefers, last Friday (8) we gave thumbs up to social networks for banning Donald Trump from the platforms. Now, we come here in humility to say that we were wrong to approach such a complex subject in a shallow way. Chancel The BRIEFINIANA was not the right place for this. From then on, given the dimension of the theme, we studied what happened and talked to specialists in the legal area to better understand the issue.
But, before embarking on the discussion, a small brief for those who were in the world of the moon. Last week, Twitter banned the U.S. president from the microblog forever and ever, claiming that Trump’s tweets that questioned the legitimacy of the elections were mobilizing groups to demonstrate violently.
In the same vein, Uncle Mark suspended the president’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram, with no date set for a return. Twitch and Snapchat have also disabled Trump’s account, while Reddit, TikTok and Pinterest have placed restrictions on their supporters. In addition to social media, over the past few days, even Apple, Google and Amazon have spoken out and removed the Parler platform from their app stores and data centers, an alternative to the most popular networks and which is dominated by Trump players.
My house, my rules
With Trump’s digital death, the web was flooded with opinions on the subject. And many, but many questions came up with this story. After all, is banning Donald Trump censorship? What is the limit of performance of social networks? And what is the role of these companies? The answers are not easy and much less objective, but they make us think and mainly help us to understand that no answer is 100% correct.
Platforms are private companies that create their own membership terms. It is the famous love them or leave them. If you agree to the terms and do not violate any of them, you can freely use the tools. But if you don’t agree and / or break some of the imposed rules, it’s over. They can cut you, just like they did with POTUS. The problem, according to Judge Olga Vishnevsky Fortes, is that some of the terms of the platforms have great loads of subjectivity and end up being submitted under an ideological prism.
With nudity, for example, it is easier for Twitter or Face to determine who violated the posting rules, but in Trump’s case it is not. After all, what Jack Dorsey considers inciting violence may not be considered by others. In the same vein, the spread of disinformation is extremely difficult to conceptualize. In this sense, users of social media are at the mercy of the interpretation of their owners.
It is worth remembering that, according to Section 230 of the American Telecommunications Law of 1996, people or companies that limit themselves to transmit third party content on the internet cannot be held legally responsible for what is published there. There are exceptions, of course: social media cannot use this law to shy away from deleting content that constitutes a crime or that violates intellectual property. And no one will accuse aggression of freedom of expression when a social media ban, for example, publications that are racist or contain child pornography.