Social, “a 500 thousand euro fine for those who censor”: the Fdi proposal

Against new Trump cases filed in the House pdl which provides for sanctions for “digital platforms” and “telematic social networks”

Fine of 500 thousand euros for “digital platforms” and “telematic social networks” that are responsible for “discriminatory” or “detrimental” behavior to “equal treatment” and “free expression of thought”. This is foreseen in a draft law by the Brothers of Italy deposited in the Chamber on 11 January, which has as its objective that of ensure “transparency and equal treatment in the management and dissemination of information and news of social and political importance” on websites and social networkswho – reads the text, which Adnkronos was able to view – are also obliged to remove from the same platforms “the news concerning people and facts that date back to more than ten years before the date of entry into force of the law” upon request of the interested party, except for some cases (homicide, serious and very serious personal injuries, crimes against minors and the mafia).

For the signatories of the bill, the deputies of Fdi Sara Kelany and Francesco Filiniit is necessary” shine a light on the “dysfunctional dynamics” affecting the web communication systemwhere the platform managers “basically pose as ‘masters’ of the contents that are conveyed through them, applying their own rules of conduct even in spite of the internal regulations of the States in which they operate. This – they write the parliamentarians of the Brothers of Italy – also for the obvious purpose of directing the political message, mainly bringing out and making accessible a specific type of content to the detriment of others deemed less worthy of dissemination”.

According to the exponents of Giorgia Meloni’s party, the behavior of the managers of the platforms “has now taken on intolerable forms”: just think of the case of theformer President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, “censored indefinitely by Twitter with a click” (among other things, the tycoon’s lawyers in recent days have asked for the reactivation of his Facebook page, ed). “Is it acceptable, in a democratic system, that with a simple ‘sweep in the sponge’ given by the big communication techs, a political opponent can be suddenly silenced without the possibility of appeal?” Kelany and Filini ask, who invoke ” well-defined embankments” and “insurmountable stakes to the censorship drifts we are witnessing”.

The risk that “minority and non-compliant thinking” will be sacrificed it is very high, the two Fdi deputies remarked, “also due to the fact that the oligarchy that owns the platforms is the bearer of specific and recognizable reference values”. Kelany and Filini point the finger at the use that social platforms make of ‘bots’: in summary, for Fdi, an algorithm cannot be entrusted with “the ability to analyze what lies behind a complex political message”.

The Fdi bill introduces the obligation for social platform managers “to guarantee each user the free expression of their thoughts, in compliance with article 21 of the Constitution and with the only limits imposed by current criminal legislation”, as well as the obligation to “follow specific criteria of transparency and proportionality” in the management of news and profiles with social and political relevance, contents that must be evaluated by natural persons and no longer by ‘bots’.

The platforms will therefore have to keep registers containing “all the data collected in the execution of the checks on the contents”, with the obligation to transmit them to Agcom and to the Privacy Guarantor on a quarterly basis. In the event of non-compliance with the provisions, sanctions are envisaged ranging “from a warning for incorrect behavior to the temporary blacking out of the website”, as well as a fine of 500 thousand euros “for any discriminatory behavior or behavior harmful to equal treatment and the freedom manifestation of thought”.

The bill also contains a chapter on the right to be forgotten, with the obligation for platform managers to remove “news concerning people and facts that date back more than ten years before the date of entry into force of this law, on request by the interested party and with the exception of cases of homicide, serious and very serious personal injuries, crimes against minors and those cases in which the mafia aggravating circumstance exists”. Cases such as corruption and terrorism remain excluded: in fact, those convicted of this type of crime could request the removal of information concerning them.

“But our proposal, like all the others, is open to possible modifications by Parliament. Parliamentary dialectic is used precisely for this, to evaluate aspects for improvement and corrections”, replies to Adnkronos the deputy Kelany, first signatory of the pdl, who summarizes the sense of his initiative thus: “Freedom and rights are the cornerstones of a democracy modern and mature. These issues have always been close to Fdi’s heart”.

(by Antonio Atte)