Happy New Year
You will have read that Mark Zuckerberg has decreed that Donald Trump will be banned from posting on Facebook until at least after the Inauguration. The reason is that Trump used Zuck’s “ platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government.” This was enough for Zuck and he finally pulled out the naughty step.
So many aspects to discuss here. I am particularly interested in exploring
- how this plays out in the 200 or so other countries where Facebook is active. Will the firm apply the same rules? What if a democratic government is acting against a minority, and using Facebook for its messaging?
- the balance between private platforms that now have public functions. Do any civic responsibilities arise on those platforms? Should these be global or local standards?
- if a platform has a civic infrastructural function, how should it be governed? (We govern civic practice differently to infrastructure differently to run-of-the-mill companies in most nations with strongish political and economic institutions.)
Lots to think about. Emotive topic. Measured, thoughtful and polite responses, please!