The invasion to US Capitol heralds an era of tighter social media regulation.
This is what EU Commissioner Thierry Breton says, who compared the violence to the attacks of 11 September 2001 that led to a global crackdown on terrorism.
“Just as 9/11 was a paradigm shift in global security, 20 years later we are witnessing a before-and-after in the role of digital platforms in our democracy,” the Internal Market Commissioner wrote in an article in Politico.
Twitter permanently blocked the personal account of US President Donald Trump and the access to his nearly 90 million followers on Friday, citing the risk of further instigation of violence after Trump called on thousands of his supporters to march on the Capitol.
“If there was anyone who still doubted that online platforms had become systemic players in our societies and democracies, last week’s events on Capitol Hill were the answer,” Breton wrote.
By blocking Trump’s account, social media companies have finally admitted that they have a responsibility, obligation and means to prevent the spread of illegal viral content, he added.
“They can no longer hide their responsibility to society by claiming that they are simply providing hosting services,” he said.
Hungary, meanwhile, has criticized Twitter for interfering in official accounts following the suspension of the Budapest government’s account in September.
“Today, the censors removed almost 200 of my followers without explanation,” government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said on Twitter. “Big Tech preaches tolerance and pluralism. “Some say and others do.”
In December, the European Commission announced a draft of rules for restraining technology giants such as Google, Alphabet, Apple and Amazon.
The new rules will force companies to do more to tackle illegal content such as hate speech and deliberate manipulation of platforms.