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Free speech in an era of disinformation. How should Europe regulate social media?

Donnerstag, 11. Februar 2021 um 19:00 - 19:30

Join the event on Zoom or on Facebook

The recent ban of Donald Trump from basically every social media platform has reignited the debate about who decides who else gets to have free speech. German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that the “fundamental right” of freedom of expression should be regulated by the law, “not by the managers of social media platforms”. France’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire labelled the control that Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks have over the online space as a “digital oligarchy”.

Who is really in control in our democracies: private companies or democratically elected public officials? What does the Trump’s social media ban tell us about the power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other platforms? How can the EU address conspiratorial, fake and violent content online, without disproportionate restrictions on the freedom of expression? What role is the new Digital Services Act (DSA) expected to play in this dynamic? Does the Commission’s proposal for the DSA contain the elements that will make the dominant online players assume responsibility over the content shared on their platforms? How could the current setting be improved when it comes to transparency, monitoring and enforcement of EU-rules? Should Facebook, Twitter and other social media be treated as publishers rather than tech firms and, in this way, be more accountable for the content available on their platforms?

We will try to answer these questions with:

  • Patrick Breyer, Member of the European Parliament for the Pirate Party (Greens/EFA group). He works on issues linked to privacy, the free Internet and, more in detail, the Digital Service Act, i.e. the biggest EU revision of internet rules in 20 years;
  • Judit Bayer, Professor of Media Law and International Law at the Budapest Business School, University of Applied Sciences. She has authored several books and articles about freedom of expression on the internet, the liability of internet service providers, public service broadcasting and human rights.


Donnerstag, 11. Februar 2021
19:00 - 19:30