Uganda social media ban raises questions over regulation in Africa. After Facebook's suspension of some Ugandan accounts, followed by the authorities' shutdown of social media and then the entire internet. Facebook has said it was trying to implement its rules, but that is not how President Yoweri Museveni saw it. “ There is no way anybody can come and play around with our country and decide who is good or who is bad," he said as he railed against the company's decision to remove accounts linked to the ruling National Resistance Movement just days before the general election.
Social media companies that remove posts they deem offensive could face fines, Poland’s justice minister said. The ruling Law and Justice party, which has a conservative Catholic social agenda, argues that big tech companies exercise a dangerous level of control over public debate, censoring opinions out of line with their own liberal world view. Users will be able to appeal to a Free Speech Council and if social media companies block accounts, or remove posts that do not break Polish law, they will be liable for fines of up to 50 million zlotys ($13.35 million).
The internet once the promised land of free and open interactions for all, is now controlled by a few gigantic technology companies which often referred to as Big Tech. These companies include Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft, Paypal and some others. We have allowed media and economic power to be consolidated stealthily into the hands of a few Big Tech firms over the last few years. Big Tech has brought us doorstep delivery of an extraordinary range of goods, services, and entertainment. While providing us these benefits, Big Tech has also accumulated vast, unregulated powers. These platforms also have the power to silence opinions by playing the role of censor and publisher. But this power is firmly in the hands of Big Tech barons with no corresponding accountability and compliance requirements.
The Sydney Morning Herald：
There is no doubt that 6th of January 2021 will be remembered as a dark day in American history. The same day, the permanent banning of Donald Trump’s Twitter account, will be a watershed moment in the debate surrounding free speech and censorship on social media platforms, and the regulation of Big Tech companies.Whether you see Twitter’s move to silence Mr Trump as the death knell of freedom of speech on social media platforms or as a necessary measure to quell incite rhetoric, it must be conceded that Big Tech companies such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple, have amassed extraordinarily powerful positions in the global corporate and political landscape.
The New York Times：
Tech companies including Facebook and Twitter removed thousands of far-right accounts, including President Trump’s after the storming of the Capitol. Amazon, Apple and Google also cut off support for Parler, a social network popular with Mr. Trump’s fans. At the same time, privacy worries rose over WhatsApp, which reminded users in a pop-up notification that it shares some of their data with its parent company. Angered or fearful of the big tech companies, many people have moved to encrypted communications apps like Signal over the past few weeks.