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Europe: What happened at the Capitol shows that Big Tech must be controlled

Big tech has blocked President Donald Trump's accounts on their platforms, following an attack by his supporters on the US Capitol last week. This is proof - if proof is needed - that laws do not go hand in hand with technology market power and that giant tech companies will have to deal with the content that circulates on their platforms.

Writing in Politico, European Commission Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton described the invasion of the US Capitol as a global impact of rampant cyber-hatred and lies.

Trump has been blocked from social media Facebook and Twitter and the implementation of social media Speak has also been removed from App Store and Google Play as it failed to mitigate the violent threats of its supporters Trump.

 "If there was even one out there who still doubted that online platforms had become systemic agents in societies and democracy, last week's events at the Capitol provide the answer. What happens on the Internet is not just there: it has consequences in "real life", says Breton.

"Last week's uprising is the culmination of hate speech, incitement to violence, misinformation and unrestricted destabilization strategies that have been around for many years on social media. The turmoil in Washington is proof that a powerful but uncontrollable digital space has a profound impact on the very foundations of modern democracy. "

The European Commission proposed a major overhaul of digital services rules in December, when it drafted the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The Commission proposal also seeks to address the market power of technology giants with proposals for additional supervision and additional rules for the larger platforms that have the potential to cause the most social harm.

The DSA law will force social media to control their content and avoid the risk of arbitrary decision-making, giving platforms "clear obligations and responsibilities to comply with them". laws, giving public authorities more enforcement powers and ensuring that the fundamental rights of all users are protected ", Breton continues.

The commissioner also addresses US lawmakers - asking Europe and USA to join forces to regulate it Internet and engage in discussions aimed at establishing what are described as "global cohesive principles", proposing the DSA Act as the starting point for discussions.

Last month, the Commission expressed a desire to work with the government Biden in a common approach to its governance technology, saying it hopes US counterparts will work with Europe to set global standards for technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and make Big Tech more responsible. What remains to be seen is what policy the Biden government will pursue in relation to Big Tech.  

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