Vestager Agrees With Trump’s Ban On Social Media

The likes of Facebook and Twitter were right to block former US President Donald Trump from their global platforms following the Capitol Hill riots, Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s digital regulator, told POLITICO.

The Danish politician added that the European Commission’s new online content proposal, known as the Digital Services Act, would have intervened before these private companies blocked the former president from posting online. Her words run counter to those of leading politicians, including Germany’s Angela Merkel, who have criticized that decision. 

“I can’t say I would have done it differently if I was in their shoes,” Vestager told the Digital Bridge, POLITICO‘s transatlantic tech newsletter, when asked if she agreed with Facebook, Google, and Twitter banning Trump from using their platforms.

“But with the Digital Services Act, the point is that it shouldn’t have gotten that far. There would have been interaction with the user along the way,” she added. “We want to increase transparency on how these decisions are made. If platforms want to ban you, they have to notify you and explain what that is.”

In December, Brussels outlined its new content-moderation proposals, including potentially hefty fines if social media companies did not stop online hate speech and illegal products from circulating widely on their digital networks. 

Separate plans — in a bill called the Digital Markets Act — also outlined a fundamental revamp of the bloc’s antitrust rules, potentially giving regulators the power to step into markets before a specific company can become too dominant.

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