Politics

“We must not leave the only regulation to digital platforms”

Tribune. Several hundred people who storm a sanctuary of democracy, armed, ready to fight, about fifty arrests and then this chilling number, five dead. It is in the United States that this sad spectacle took place, still unthinkable a few years ago.

On all the news channels, each of us, dumbfounded, was able to follow the progress of these activists, urged to defend their vision of America and their truth, galvanized by a president who always denies his defeat. This attack strikes at the heart of the cradle of Western democracy – and must alert us all.

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Beware of those who promise mountains and wonders. Donald Trump had assured Americans of the newfound greatness of their country. After four long years in office, they find a weakened America, undermined institutions, ever greater inequalities. For four years, Americans and the world have witnessed the ubiquitous 280-character outings of the president of the world’s leading power.

The contestation of the elections and the attack on the Capitol was too much irresponsibility. Even Marine Le Pen, the president of the National Rally, his most fervent support at home, ended up admitting the responsibility of Donald Trump in the events of January 6. Should we wait for blood to flow to finally worry about the damage of populist speeches on democracy?

The incursion of January 6 makes the emergence of a society adept at post-truth, “fake news” and conspiracy theories, the consumption of which is facilitated by the Internet and social networks, even more visible. In this climate of mistrust, public speech, that of elected officials, traditional media, scientists, is systematically called into question.

Limit arbitrariness

We have to recognize that the complexity of reality is less attractive, less comforting than post-truth, sensational, obvious, rewarding. The consequences are worrying: social networks are the first source of information for 18-25 year olds, 29% of Americans and 26% of French people believe that Covid-19 was manufactured in a laboratory and 28% of 18-24 year olds adhere to at least five conspiracy theories, according to an investigation by the Jean Jaurès Foundation. The risk of generalized mistrust within Western democracies is obvious and is coming to our doors.

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This fight against disinformation and hatred online, we have been bringing to La République en Marche for years. If some thought that attacking the digital giants was a battle against windmills, the news proves the opposite. The European Digital Services Act (DSA) and Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulations go in the same direction as the work carried out by MEP Laetitia Avia: move towards making digital platforms more responsible.

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