What is it like to practice on Twitter

Trump's campaign account blocked"Twitter practices parallel justice"

The election campaign team of US President Donald Trump posted an excerpt from an interview with Fox News on Wednesday (August 5th, 2020) on Twitter and Facebook. In the excerpt, Trump claimed that children were "almost immune" to the coronavirus, which is why schools should reopen for normal classes after the summer vacation despite the pandemic.

Facebook deleted the post on Wednesday evening, and Twitter temporarily blocked the entire account. From the point of view of the Cologne legal scholar Rolf Schwartmann, both operators have clearly exceeded their limits: "In a democracy, the state is responsible for ensuring that freedom of expression can be lived," he said in an interview with @mediares. If, on the other hand, a social network decides what can be published "by house right", it is "a kind of parallel justice that creates facts and possibly shortens opinions that the law does not want to shorten".

Difficult to solve "dilemma"

Social networks are practically free, private companies that do not have the right to interfere with freedom of expression - even if, as in this case, it involves the dissemination of dangerous statements related to the coronavirus. "It's a dilemma," admitted Schwartmann.

At the same time, an open discourse must be possible in the social networks, in which the most diverse opinions have space next to each other. An operator shouldn't want to steer there. The line between the rule of law and self-justice is "very thin". According to Schwartmann's demand, "regulation must be created by the state, similar to that for public broadcasting". Because the power of opinion of the social networks, he said, goes "far beyond that of the broadcasters".