Censorship: Elon Musk's First Task at Twitter

Society | Author: Iveta Cherneva |October 31, 2022, Monday // 08:07
Bulgaria: Censorship: Elon Musk's First Task at Twitter @dnaindia.com

President Joe Biden's disinformation governance board, part of Homeland Security, had a rather short life earlier this year. In short, the attempt was a disaster which many branded "Ministry of Truth".  When it comes to the truth, a body like this would be assuming control over the definition of fake news and propaganda, on one hand, and simply a different opinion or narrative, on the other hand. A government agency is bound to get the balance wrong bringing its own biases and special interests into the mix. Governments lie. But what about a social media company such as Twitter?

That question is about to get answered soon with Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter. Can he get it right?

As it stands now, the top political platform, Twitter, which so many turns to in order to get the news first, has been getting it wrong, erring on the side of censorship.

Take a look at the example where Twitter has been censoring a lot of the information on the war in Ukraine. Regular journalists, bloggers or random users have been branded Russian state media – only because they have aired different views, facts, photos, videos and opinions on the war in Ukraine. Twitter can do better than this, and fixing blatant instances of censorship should be Musk's first task at Twitter.

Under international human rights standards, freedom of speech is not limited by fake news. The global market of ideas and opinions is not limited to wrong information. Instead, the point is that wrong facts can get corrected when they face the other side in an open debate in a clash of ideas. Nowhere does it say that statements have to be true according to everyone before being voiced. This is why President Biden's disinformation board, or the Ministry of Truth, had such a short life. Twitter's censorship policies should have a short life, as new owner, Elon Musk, seeks to revamp things.

The lines on freedom of speech are not defined by fake news. The lines curtailing freedom of speech are hate speech or libel – and that is a huge space of a difference, compared to fake news. This is the standard on freedom of speech under international human rights law. Supporting one side or the other in a debate shouldn't result in branding one side propaganda, state media or government mouthpiece. It shouldn't be that easy to take down someone's credibility.

Musk is forming a council on moderation to look into the current Twitter policies on censorship. Fixing censorship should be Elon Musk's very first task at Twitter. The rest should come next. Let that sink in.

Iveta Cherneva is an author and analyst. She was a finalist for UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of speech in 2020.

Follow Novinite.com on Twitter and Facebook

Write to us at editors@novinite.com

Информирайте се на Български - Novinite.bg

We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Society » Be a reporter: Write and send your article
Tags: Twitter, Musk, censorship
Bulgaria news Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency - www.sofianewsagency.com) and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria