Twitter vs. India – The New York Times

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A notable face-off lies at the appropriate boundary of free speech between an American Internet company and the world’s largest democracy.

Backdrop on Farmers protest Opposition to new agricultural laws in India. The Indian government has sought to remove or hide more than 1,100 accounts on Twitter, citing laws against its laws for sabotage or public order, stating that it has led to violence or spread misinformation.

Twitter Has complied with With some orders from India. But twitter has Refused to delete accounts Journalists, activists and others say the company is exercising its right to criticize the government appropriately.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is saying Twitter is breaking the law. Twitter is saying That India is breaking its own laws. And democracy activists say that tech companies like Twitter should not play when governments pass laws that effectively shut down free speech.

There are regular disputes between Internet companies and governments – both democratic and not – in terms of whether they break the country’s laws. It is unusual here how the disagreement is public and high profile, and India has threatened to imprison Twitter employees.

I talked to David kaye, A law professor at the University of California at Irvine and former UN special relations on free expression about Twitter’s rulings in India, how they can reverberate and the results of some tech companies setting the rules of global discourse.

Shira: Do you think Twitter is making the right call?

Kaye: Yes. Twitter is essentially saying It shall not comply with orders which consider it inconsistent with Indian law and which violates the human right of free expression of the people.

India under Modi government Has not acted democratically on the rights of To make people speak against their government. I’m not sure why Twitter didn’t choose this moment to take a stand and two or three years ago, when the company Action taken against people posting about Kashmir After pressure from the government.

Back in my role in the United Nations, I Asked twitter what happened. The company did not respond. In a way, this week was Twitter’s response.

But Twitter is defying a democratically elected government.

People should not be subject to the notion that these companies see themselves above the law. One important difference in India is that Order from a government ministry – Not a court. Twitter is saying that the demand to block India’s accounts or delete posts has not come from the regular rule of law.

What other deadlock questions do you have?

I have the same question that people asked after Trump banned Facebook and Twitter: What about all the other countriesThe Will Twitter also be more empowered to stand governments in Turkey, Egypt or Saudi Arabia? And how far is Twitter ready to go? Will it risk being blocked in India?

(Twitter United States – when including the government – does not automatically comply with requests – the company requests that the company pull down or hand over users’ data. Here are Twitter revelations as to how many such requests by authorities The bar responds. Saudi Arab, Turkey, Egypt, India And this United States of america.)

How should we feel that some Internet companies have the power to shape citizens’ involvement with their governments and to set limits for proper expression?

This is a problem. These companies have large scale and considerable power. The basic question is: Who decides what is legitimate speech on these platformsThe

Both Internet companies and governments should be blamed. Companies have not provided transparency in their operations, their regulations and their enforcement. Instead we have perpetual cycles that look like seat-of-the-pants decisions in response to public pressure. And governments have not worked hard to create smart regulation on a large scale.

What does smart regulation look like?

The challenge for democratic governments is to increase the transparency of social media and keep it under a regulatory framework – but does not enforce content rules that misuse and interfere with users ‘free speech rights or companies’ rights So that they can create the environment they want for users. He is constantly tense.

European Union Proposed Digital Services Act There is a very sophisticated legislation on this. The US is still tightening the screw.

(Also read that Tom Friedman, New York Times Opinion columnist, who writes that he is Routing to Europe’s strategy to regulate the Internet.)


Started using facebook With reducing the amount of political posts and content in your news feed.

The reason, Mark Zuckerberg recently explained, is that people told Facebook that they “don’t want politics and are fighting to take their experience.” But, uh, they have saw her Facebook?

As my colleague Kevin Rose Has reported Tireless – and as an account he created Tweets daily – The most responses, shares, and comments are received with links to Facebook, angrily politically uptight. So what is Facebook doing? Kevin and I talked about this:

Shira: His analysis has not shown that people do Want politics and fury in their news feed?

Kevin: People have multitudes, and their stated preferences often do not match their stated preferences. If a nutritionist surveyed my ideal diet, I would make a list of healthy foods. But if you put Big Mac in front of me, I’m going to eat it. I find it reliable that Facebook users They say They don’t want politics and fury, but when their friends post one The Great Bernie Sanders Mem

I also suspect that a relatively small number of people are responsible for a very large number of interactions on Facebook – and that the Super Sharpers are really into politics. Facebook says that only 6 percent of what users see in the United States is political content, so most Facebook can actually be instant pot recipes and baby photos.

Is Facebook’s silent majority the people who don’t want all the politics?

Possibly! Or people just aren’t honest about (or don’t know) what they really want. I think we will find out from this Facebook test.

Can Facebook give us what we actually click on, or what we do They say Want to click on us?

Facebook, basically like all social media apps, is designed to give more of what we like. It is very attractive, but it is not so good for democracy.

So what if a social network was designed to feed our aspirations, instead of our lizard-brain impulses? Would we like it more? Or will we miss the drama and the fight?


  • America’s informal unemployment hotline: During the epidemic, more Americans have Turned into a reddit message board For advice on navigating misleading unemployment insurance systems, my colleague Ella Koze writes. It is also a place for others going through similar difficult situations.

  • The algorithm is falling to zero: Companies that make special clothing for people with disabilities say Facebook’s automated system routinely rejects advertisements and listings for their products. The problem, writes my colleague Vanessa Freedman, is computer nuances and often malfunctioning Facebook systems Flag adaptive clothing as medical devices promotions or “adult content” Which is against the rules of the company.

  • The digital divide in the church: Wired writes about churches that flourish as worship and move online during epidemics The struggles of others who did not have the resources to go virtual.

Eight-year-old Leo wrote a rude letter to his NPR station, due to the lack of much airing about dinosaurs. So NPR Asked Leo to interview a dinosaur expert. It was delightful.


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