While Elon Musk is on an apparent mission to make social media better and more transparent, it has spurred a lot of debate about the type of ambitions he is up for.
The latest attempt of Musk to buy Twitter came days after the Europe deal, in which the continent moved forward to make the social media platform less toxic for the masses.
European Union Pose a New Challenge to Elon Musk
For the first time, the European Union has signed a law, Digital Service Act, aimed at forcing Facebook, YouTube, and other giant internet companies to counter rising misinformation on the social media platforms and disclose how the device content is being spread out on the platform.
Not only this, but the EU is also aiming to stop social media platforms from showing certain ads to its audience.
If social media companies do not comply with the laws of the EU, they can be fined billions of dollars. Thus tech companies are bound to remove hate speech, extremist propaganda, and other illegal material described by the EU.
This rule will end the era of self-regulation, in which tech companies used to set their own rules of the game.
Prior to that, social media companies used to decide which content should they bring up and which one should be taken down. Thus, these tech giants had absolute authority over the type of content which should be shown to the masses.
Elon Musk would have to operate under these laws, even if he does not like it. In third world countries, he was already pushed into a dead-end tunnel as showing absolute free speech was never an option.
Now the European Union has also curtailed the power of the social media companies to impact the perception of the masses. In this case, the so-called mission of Musk to propagate free speech is bound to fail.
Uncontrolled Freedom of Speech Will Pave the Way for Another January 6 Incident
The talks about regulating social media companies were high for a long time. The consequences of ignoring these demands were seen on January 6, 2021, when a violent mob was praised on social media websites.
Now when Elon Musk decides to bring back the absolute freedom of speech, it would surely be a signal toward another January 6 incident.
By now, global companies have pursued profit at the expense of public interests. While doing this, they have violated many fundamental human rights.
But now, more countries realize that there is no such thing as absolute freedom of speech. Big governments have to exist at least in the domain of social media because, at times, it can be a matter of mass distress.
These sorts of regulations have been seen in the case of chemical industries where pollutants harmful to the existence of the human race are getting banned.
This is what governments are supposed to do in capitalism: use law to drive regulatory changes that can help save the lives of the masses.
When concentrated monopolistic power helps a few people over the rest, this kind of legislation is critical.
How the new European law is carried out will be an important thing to consider as the world moves on.
It is a broad rule that has to be implemented country wise, just like food safety standards which require vibrant policing. Thus a cyber force will need to step up and disallow violent speech at a time when social media companies are likely to change their algorithms.
The talks about reforming section 230 of the communications and decency act were always prevalent in America, where the government wanted to reform these platforms to hold them accountable for any chaos that was being driven from their platform. Now when these changes are coming, Democrats can push to reform this section to get rid of the chaos that awaits.
Eli is a Political Data Scientist with over thirty years of experience in Data Engineering, Analytics, and Digital Marketing. Eli uses his expertise to give the latest information and distinctive analysis on US Political News, US Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, and Racial Justice equipping readers with the inequivalent knowledge.