Fear of censorship on Twitter and Facebook following information against Biden

MADRID

Updated:10/16/2020 8:35h

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The ghost that scares political groups returns. The criticism for the possible existence of ideological biases in social media platforms returns to the first line. The trigger was a publication of the medium “The New York Post” in which the alleged links with Ukraine of the Democratic candidate for the US presidential elections were reported. The news, of journalistic interest, has not circulated massively due to the limitation introduced by Facebook and Twitter. What has aroused the ire of his detractors to the cry of censorship.

Social networks, who have considered this information “unreliable”, they are in the spotlight in this next electoral appointment. The Cambridge Analytica scandals of four years ago and coordinated campaigns to try to influence voters has led to the adoption of new measures against disinformation. These filters have generated an intense public debate about whether dealing with informative content can be considered censorship.

No prior verification

It is, in effect, a decision unusual of social networks due to its markedly editorial nature. b And more, taking into account that they have done so without waiting for the verification of facts from the associated companies of “fact-checkers” with which they have international agreements such as Newtral or Maldita in Spain.

In the case of Facebook, the social network par excellence has chosen to “reduce the distribution” of the article during the time in which its verifiers analyze the story, while Twitter has leaned in its complete elimination. Should Tech Companies Editorialize? Are your decisions correct to try to stop the scourge of “fake news“? The controversial article was based on the compilation of a series of e-mails recovered from an old computer that, supposedly, had belonged to Biden’s son. The thorniest issue has been the revelation that a copy was delivered to the newspaper by the former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, currently Trump’s legal adviser. This fact has considered the published information unreliable.

Both companies have given different reasons to justify the limitation of the publication’s scope. Andy Stone, responsible for public policies at Facebook, has urged a message on your Twitter profile for external data verification groups associated with Facebook to verify the information. “Meanwhile, we are reducing its distribution on our platform,” he insisted.

And he added: “This is part of our standardized process to reduce the spread of misinformation. We temporarily reduce the distribution pending the fact-checker review. ” Twitter, for its part, has assured that it violated its internal policy against the publication of stolen digital material, considering that the contents they would have been achieved without the consent of its alleged owner.

Donald Trump, current president and Republican candidate, has qualified in his profile Twitter’s “terrible” social media decision, while again calling for the removal of the legal protections enjoyed by large internet platforms under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. The objective is a reform that can modify these services that have managed to play a role predominant in the politics and distribution of informative content.

In recent months, the relationship of these platforms with politics has been stressed. The companies that own these popular services have orchestrated an action plan to prevent misinformation during the upcoming elections. Among the measures adopted, prevent a victory from being declared prematurely or report on the voting process.

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