‘No longer acceptable’ for platforms to take key decisions alone, EU Commission says

It is “no longer acceptable” for social media giants to take key decisions on online content removals alone, following the high profile takedowns of US President Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Twitter, the European Commission has said.

Trump’s accounts have been suspended by the two platforms for inciting calls to violence ahead of the violent riots that hit Washington’s Capitol Hill last week.

Speaking to lawmakers on Monday (11 January), Prabhat Agarwal, an official who heads up the eCommerce unit at the European Commission’s DG Connect, noted how the EU executive’s Digital Services Act attempts to realign the balance between effective content removal and preserving freedom of expression online.

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E.U.’s top digital enforcer says Twitter’s Trump ban was response to ‘extreme situation’
Europe’s top digital enforcer said Tuesday that she didn’t understand why Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks had waited so long to bar President Trump from their platforms — but she also said that a broad proposal in Europe to rein in digital giants would give banned users the opportunity to appeal such decisions.

In an interview with The Washington Post, European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager expressed alarm about the attack last week on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters and said of the planned transition of power on Inauguration Day: “I really, really hope that it will go well.”

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