Science

Twitter takeover by Elon Musk: “We need democratic checks and balances”

Florence G’sell, professor of law at the University of Lorraine and chair of the Department of Digital, Governance and Sovereignty at Sciences-Po, is returning to Paris Match in the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter.

Paris match. Elon Musk has said he is in favor of reopening Donald Trump’s Twitter account despite the former US president’s numerous legal setbacks. Who could win?
Florence Gsell. In any case, and this is what I find a little unfortunate, Elon Musk’s opinion takes precedence. If he manages to take control of Twitter, which still requires going through a few steps, Elon Musk will make a decision, and he has made it clear that his overall intention is to have a platform that is perhaps a little less moderated, but, above all, represents less of what he calls bias: he accuses Twitter of being run by leftists who make biased decisions. Donald Trump’s appeals, which were denied, were motivated in large part by the fact that in the United States, it’s up to the platforms to decide.

Do you think this takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk, if successful, is a permanent change for social media as we know it?
Very hard to say! I think this shows the extreme polarization of the debate in the United States, the fact that they cannot get out of the rather fruitless opposition between conservatives who say they are discriminated against by the most mainstream platforms, and the other side of the people, more to the left who are considered progressives, is extremely supportive of the significant platform softening they demanded. Initially, Twitter or Facebook were platforms where we didn’t really want to moderate. But after many calls to do so, they were forced to adopt an increasingly important moderation policy.
What has been happening in recent years is very important, be(…)

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