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Twitter CEO says Trump ban was right, but sets a ‘dangerous precedent’


Dorsey’s statements – the first time the CEO spoke about the decision – arrived on the heels of an emotional week in which right-wing figures disavowed the power of Silicon Valley companies, while employees and the public had begged the company for more explanation of its actions in response to the violent January 6 pro-Trump rally at the Capitol. At the same time, Twitter continued to suspend tens of thousands of problematic accounts.

Twitter’s Trump ban drew criticism from some Republicans who said it quelled the US president’s right to free speech. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned through a spokesman that legislators, not private companies, should decide on potential curbs to free expression.

Dorsey said he believed Twitter had made “the right decision”, adding that the company “faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety.”

But the action, he noted, came with perilous consequences in terms of fragmenting the online conversation as people flee to use different services that suit them politically, and giving companies like Twitter enormous unchecked power.

“This moment in time might call for this dynamic, but over the long term it will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet,” he wrote. “A company making a business decision to moderate itself is different from a government removing access, yet can feel much the same.”

Twitter has introduced a series of measures over the last year like labels, warnings and distribution restrictions to reduce the need for decisions about removing content entirely from the service.

Dorsey has said he believes those measures can promote more fruitful, or “healthy,” conversations online and lessen the impact of bad behaviour.

Twitter banned Trump’s account last Friday after first suspending him for 12 hours the day of the Capitol siege. On Friday, Trump again tweeted that he wouldn’t attend the inauguration, as well as saying that his supporters would not be disrespected “in any way, shape, or form.”

Twitter immediately dismantled his account, saying the tweets could incite violence.

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Facebook has also banned Trump indefinitely, as has Amazon-owned video platform Twitch. Snapchat banned him permanently, while Google-owned YouTube did so for seven days. Amazon’s web services division cut off the Trump friendly social media site Parler, which was also removed from the Google and Apple app stores.

The Twitter CEO explained bans by social media companies on Trump after last week’s violence were emboldened by each other’s actions, even though they were not coordinated.

Supporters of Trump who has repeatedly made baseless claims challenging Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the November election, stormed the US Capitol last week, trying to halt the certification by Congress of Biden’s Electoral College win.

On Wednesday, Trump became the first president in US history to be impeached twice.

The Washington Post/Reuters

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Australian News

Federal government demands clarity from social media over Donald Trump Twitter ban


The federal government is calling for consistency from social media giants after Donald Trump’s Twitter ban sparked fresh questions over their role in policing free speech online.

The US President has been removed from a slew of social media platforms, most notably Twitter, after being accused on inciting a deadly assault on the US Capitol.

The federal government has urged social media giants to be consistent when enforcing their rules, with Technology Minister Karen Andrews accusing them of having subjective processes.

“There have been many instances of comments that have been taken down from various platforms. Yet in some instances, these platforms are very quick to act when it seems as if the subject content is something that they don’t personally agree with,” she told 3AW Radio on Tuesday.

“That is unfair, it is inconsistent and it lacks the transparency that we are looking for.”

Ms Andrews said although there was “nothing new” in private corporations applying their own terms, she said there was a “deeper question” over the consistency and fairness of the rules.

She confirmed the government was considering stronger powers for the eSafety commissioner to combat dangerous content online but said the conversation on Mr Trump’s ban was “about social media ethics”.

Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen said it was hypocritical for Coalition members to promote free enterprise while calling for a private company to be regulated.

“I’m a bit old-fashioned, I believe in free enterprise. I believe that Twitter is a free enterprise and should be able to ban whoever is inciting hate speech as they wish,” he said on Tuesday.

“I found it extraordinary to see some allegedly free enterprise politicians call for stronger regulation of Twitter and other social media.”

The bans prompted questions over whether social media executives should have the right to censor world leaders online.

The suspension of Mr Trump’s personal Twitter account came despite a New York federal appeals court ruling in 2019 that he was not able to block users.

The ruling stated that given the account was frequently used to conduct official business, blocking users would violate their First Amendment rights.

Liberal MP Dave Sharma said last week he supported the decision to ban Mr Trump from Twitter, arguing it was the “right decision on the facts”.

But he was troubled by the precedent of social media giants curtailing the speech of a world leader.

Twitter’s approach to Iranian leader Ali Khamenei has prompted further accusations of inconsistency.

New posts on the Ayatollah’s English-language account, which regularly shares his statements despite not being officially verified, have been suspended.

But the account remains online despite accusations it has incited violence towards Israel.

Parler, a “free speech social media alternative” favoured by many Trump supporters, has also been decimated after Amazon, Google, and Apple removed it from their servers within 24 hours.

Apple accused Parler of failing to implement adequate safeguards against the spread of violent or hateful material.

But the bans have been criticised for silencing Trump supporters by effectively removing Parler from the internet.



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Australian News

Qld police investigating Twitter boasts about border cross


Queensland’s top cop has slammed Lyle Shelton for wasting police resources after the Christian lobbyist took to social media to brag about allegedly pulling off a “sneaky run” into Queensland.

The anti-same sex marriage campaigner tweeted four pictures of himself at a Queensland beach on Sunday, writing “Sneaky run across the border and back. Avoided the CCP virus police.”

Social media users immediately hit back, some asking if he had just admitted to breaking the law.

Queensland Police also replied to the tweet, writing “we are aware of this tweet and are making further enquiries.”

Speaking to media on Monday, QPS commissioner Katarina Carroll said police had spoken to Mr Shelton, and found he did indeed have the necessary permit to cross into Queensland.

“It was disappointing to see that tweet. When you see something like we need to put resources into it, which we have,” Ms Carroll said.

“He has been spoken to. He can cross the border … I understand he has a G pass.

“He thought it was funny, but it’s not. (Doing that) you’re taking away resources from other places.”

Police minister Mark Ryan echoed his disappointment in Mr Shelton’s wasting of police resources.

“There’s a saying: it’s better for people to think you’re an idiot than to open your mouth and confirm it,” he said.

“Maybe that’s an accurate application for Mr Shelton.”

Mr Shelton went on to write a follow up post, writing he had been happy to speak to officers to explain his run along the coast “from Coolangatta to the Tweed and back”.

“There were no checkpoints for joggers, walkers or lizards,” he wrote.

“I have not visited a hotspot. There is a valid debate re borders but I respect the role of our police.”

The former managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby spearheaded the “No” campaign ahead of the marriage equality referendum, and most recently has worked for Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson.

Under current Queensland Health guidelines, anyone entering the Sunshine State from NSW must complete a border declaration pass to prove they have not been in Greater Sydney in the past 14 days.

Since Queensland closed its borders to the COVID-19 hotspot on December 21, a number of infringement notices have been handed out, including to five Sydney residents who allegedly lied their way into the state.

They were discovered in a Gold Coast holiday unit and marched to mandatory hotel quarantine.



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Twitter keeps fake China image despite PM Scott Morrison demanding removal


As China continues to ratchet up the rhetoric against Australia, government officials in Canberra are joining the PM in criticising social media platform Twitter for allowing the “disgusting” doctored image to remain online.

Overnight, despite pleas from both the PM and Australian government officials, the image and post remained available. Despite some media reports the image was censored, that only appeared to affect some users and not others.

Government frontbencher Michael Sukkar was among those questioning why the social media giant allowed the doctored image of an Australian soldier to remain online, describing it as “disgusting” to the ABC.

The fake picture, posted on a Chinese government-linked Twitter account, depicts an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of a child.

China is refusing to apologise for the controversial image. It also said Australia needed to do some “soul searching” following the release of an explosive war crimes report.

The comments came after a bombshell report recommended 19 Australian soldiers be investigated for the alleged murder of 39 Afghans.

Despite a plea from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who labelled the tweet “repugnant”, Twitter has not removed the post, although the page is flagged as a “China government account”.

Asked about the tweet at a regular press briefing overnight, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying replied: “With Australian soldiers committing such atrocious crimes, shouldn’t the Australian government feel ashamed?”

She said Australia should “make a formal apology to the Afghan people”, adding that “it is a fact that Australian soldiers brutally slaughtered innocent civilians in Afghanistan”.

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When grilled on what the PM had demanded of Twitter on Monday, he said: “We are seeking its removal immediately and have also contacted Twitter to take it down immediately.

“It is a false image and a terrible slur on our great defence forces and the men and women who have served in that uniform for over 100 years.

“It is an absolute outrageous and disgusting slur and it wouldn’t be the first time that social media have censored posts.

“In this case, I would think that in the interests of decency, they should take it down.”

The post remained overnight.

On its website, Twitter claims “people are allowed to post content, including potentially inflammatory content, as long as they’re not violating the Twitter Rules”.

“It’s important to know that Twitter does not screen content or remove potentially offensive content,” it says.

“As a policy, we do not mediate content or intervene in disputes between users. However, targeted abuse or harassment may constitute a violation of the Twitter Rules and Terms of Service.”

Under Twitter’s Rules policy, it claims to “prohibit the glorification of violence” and that you “may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease”.

“You may not post media that is excessively gory or share violent,” it continues.

In terms of “Authenticity”, Twitter says: “You may not deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm. In addition, we may label tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context.”

On Monday, Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar joined the chorus and said the image was outrageous and unacceptable and urged Twitter to do more.

“I’m completely offended,” Mr Sukkar said.

“To see that doctored image, clearly an incendiary image that’s been doctored in that way, is something that I am utterly offended about.

“We are a proud country. Sure, there are issues that Australia is owning up to … but we absolutely are appalled by this tweet.

“I’d like to see the image removed immediately given that it depicts our defence forces in a disgusting way, but in the end these will be matters for Twitter.

“Twitter has shown in recent times a certain willingness to censor, I suspect images and messages that are far less disgusting than the one we are am referring to here.

“So I’m surprised that they have chosen not to do that. I would just echo the Prime Minister’s request and that is for Twitter to remove it immediately.

“Tweets are removed very regularly where it depicts content that is deemed to be unacceptable.

“I would have thought very clearly from 25 million Australians that a concocted image of a person in Australian uniform holding a bloody knife to the neck of what seems to be depicted as a small Afghani child is outrageous.

“If that’s not something that should be removed, I’m not sure what is.”

Earlier, in Beijing, Chinese officials delivered a stinging response to demands for an apology from the PM, accusing Australia of “barbarism” and saying the government should feel ashamed.

“Some Australian soldiers committed serious crimes in Afghanistan,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

“The details are appalling and shocking including men and boys who were shot dead all with their throats slit while blindfolded.

“Some Australian soldiers committed serious crimes in Afghanistan,” she said.

“The details are appalling and shocking including men and boys who were shot dead all with their throats slit while blindfolded.





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Channel 10 newsreader Candice Wyatt hit with fierce Twitter backlash


A senior Channel 10 journalist has been targeted in a Twitter backlash after she posted a two word tweet today.

Senior journalist Candice Wyatt tweeted “Bye Bye” with a waving hand emoji following Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos’ announcement that she’d resigned.

Ms Wyatt shared Ms Mikakos’ own tweet with her full statement regarding her resignation. The short tweet has prompted a fierce response on social media, with hundreds of responses and quotes.

RELATED: Follow our live coronavirus coverage

RELATED: Jenny Mikakos quits: Stinging parting shot at Daniel Andrews

Countless social media users responded with outrage to the tweet, accusing Ms Wyatt of political bias.

Political commentator Peter van Onselen said he agreed Ms Mikakos needed to resign, but he called the criticism of the former health minister a “childish pile on”.

Author John Birmingham replied to the tweet with a meme, asking Ms Wyatt, “U wot mate?”.

Jonathan Green, an ABC presenter and the editor of literary journal Meanjin shared the tweet, appearing to mock Ms Wyatt’s role as a senior journalist.

Journalist Peter Brent also shared a screenshot of a tweet Ms Wyatt later retweeted, calling for Ms Mikakos’ resignation.

“Andrews has lost the Channel 10 newsreader vote,” Mr Brent said.



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Daniel Andrews’ wife tells Twitter her husband ‘does not stop’


Catherine Andrews has stepped in to defend her husband, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, amid the growing criticism of his handling of the coronavirus.

Ms Andrews shared a photo of the Premier on Twitter on Saturday night, showing him working at his desk

“This man does not stop,” she said.

“Thank you to everyone who is doing the right thing. We are in this together. #istandwithdan.”

RELATED: Follow our live coronavirus coverage

Mr Andrews stood firm against some public calls for him to resign last week

“People are calling for you to resign. Is that something you’re considering?” a reporter asked him during a press conference on Wednesday.

“No, I’m not considering that,” Mr Andrews responded.

“What I’m not just considering, but delivering, is the response to this pandemic and seeing this through. That’s what’s most important and it’s what I’m going to get done.”

RELATED: ‘Clear failure’: Truth about Victoria clusters

It was a rough week for the Premier, who two days later grew flustered at another press conference following an unexpected question from a reporter about his birthday.

A clearly unimpressed Mr Andrews scolded the journalist, who asked how he celebrated the day before Melbourne was sent back into stage three coronavirus lockdown, revealing he was at home with his family.

The reporter then asked if he was at home the whole time, to which he replied: “Yes.”

“Sorry, you want to ask me about the night of my birthday?” he said.

“I was at home having a very nice family dinner. Let me indicate to you when that occurred.

“It occurred after I had done a two-and-a-half hour cabinet meeting over Zoom and I think my plate might have been a bit cold. But we’re all doing all sorts of things, but I was pleased to be at home with my wife and my kids.

“Happy? Fine? Very good.”

Mr Andrews asked reporters if there were any other questions before adding he “got all flustered”.

“No? Very good. I’m going home now to them as well. Thanks,” he said as he cut off the press conference.

People following the event on social media threw their support behind Mr Andrews.

One woman labelled the question disgusting.

“Disgusting question from ‘journalist’ asking where @DanielAndrewsMP was on the night of his birthday,” she wrote.

“He answered the question and then she had the audacity to ask if he was sure. This is a man who has had very little time with his family over the last six or seven months.”

Dr Vyom Sharma said it was a s***ty question.

“Say what you want, but @DanielAndrewsMP is working very very hard I do not appreciate his ethic being imputed,” he wrote on Twitter.

Mr Andrews later tweeted that the journalist had phoned his office to apologise, calling for the pile-on against her to cease.

A second wave of infections has been linked to a catastrophic failure in Victoria’s mandatory hotel quarantine procedures.

Last week, Today host Karl Stefanovic accused the Victorian government of being responsible for a “catastrophic bungle” that allowed the virus to spread through the state.

“You managed the bushfires. You managed the start of COVID, you did an incredible job,” Stefanovic said.

“It’s difficult to recall a bigger political bungle than this. Your critics are calling for a change of leadership. Will you resign?”

Mr Andrews said he would not.

“No, Karl I’m about staying the course and getting the job done,” he said.

“Critics, that’s fine. That’s entirely a matter for them. Politics is a matter for them too. This is a pandemic and I’m getting on with the job I need to do. It’s not popular.

“They’re very, very difficult calls to be made.

“They have to be made to keep Victorians safe. We have to stay the course on this.”

Asked whether he thought the state had lost faith in him, he said: “I think every Victorian knows and understands this is real, serious and it’s not over. Pretending that it is will simply make a difficult situation into tragic set of circumstances. I think every Victorian knows that.”

He added: “I apologise for the inconvenience – the great challenge that many, many Victorian families are going to have to experience over these next six weeks. It’s not where we wanted to be. But we can’t go back. We can’t change those things that have got us to this point.”

Speaking on The Project last week, Mr Andrews similarly reinforced that his decision was “not about being popular”.

When Aly asked whether the Premier’s apology to Melburnians last week was “admitting fault”, Mr Andrews gave a firm response.

“The job that I do means that I am the leader of the state, and it is for me to accept responsibility for all of these things … I’ve never run away from that,” he said.

“These are not easy calls, but it is not about being popular. It is about doing what has to be done.”



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Carlton’s Eddie Betts calls out racist abuse he received on Twitter on weekend AFL supports Black Lives Matter


Carlton’s Eddie Betts has called out racist abuse he received this weekend on social media, saying to ignore it would be part of the problem.

Betts highlighted the tweet, which referenced him and included a picture of a monkey, in an Instagram post on Sunday afternoon.

It comes on the same weekend that all AFL players have come together to support the global Black Lives Matter movement, taking a knee before each game in a show of solidarity and commitment to the fight against racism.

“If at any time anyone is wondering why we work so hard to bring attention to the importance of stamping out racism, this is it,” Betts said.

“If ever there was a time where our focus on this needs to continue more than ever, it’s now.

“We each have a responsibility to ourselves and each other. To continue to listen. To learn. To educate.

Paul Marsh, chief executive of the AFL Player’s Association, also called out the racist tweet on Saturday.

“First week back and our Indigenous players are already being vilified. This post is abhorrent and disgusting and so sad,” Marsh said.

“There’s no place in society for racism.”

Players from two AFL teams go on one knee in the centre circle ahead of their match at the MCG.
Players have taken a knee before every AFL game this weekend.(AAP: Michael Dodge)

Marsh had previously supported the players’ push to support the Black Lives Matter movement this weekend.

“The AFL Players’ Association is proud of the leadership shown by the league’s Indigenous players, and the playing group more broadly, in signalling their intention to support the Black Lives Matter movement during round two,” Marsh said.

“We encourage the community to support the players by investing in building a greater understanding of the issues that have led to them taking this action.

“Unfortunately, racism still plagues our community and we hope this moment helps to better educate as well as making it clear to all that discrimination in any form is completely unacceptable.”



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Kamran Ahmed’s Twitter thread exposes racism in Australia


On just his second day in Sydney, Londoner-turned-Sydneysider Kamran Ahmed was confronted by Australia’s ugly side.

The psychiatrist who moved abroad for work six years ago says he was in a bar when he met two Australian women who opened his eyes to a racist undercurrent he has witnessed time and time again ever since.

The conversation, he says, went like this:

Ahmed: “Where should I live? Redfern?”

Women: “No it’s full of Abos.”

Ahmed: “What?”

Women: “Aboriginals.”

Ahmed: “What’s wrong with that?”

Women: “We’re up here (gestures to head), they’re down here (gestures to waist)”.

On Twitter last week, as Australians gathered for Black Lives Matter protests in capital cities, the successful doctor shared a thread that soon started trending under the hashtag #RacisminAustralia.

The idea was to shine a light on “the staggering amount of racism” he has endured, but also what it’s like for people of colour in general in Australia.

He shared a story about an incident at a festival when an Australian man commented “bullshit, he’s a black c**t” when he learned Ahmed was from England.

And how he was subjected to “monkey noises” by people in a car when he walked out of his apartment.

And how Aussie kids once shouted: “You did 9/11.”

The anecdotes just kept coming.

A former landlord told him to shave his beard “otherwise people will think (you’re) a terrorist”.

An elderly woman told him out of the blue to “go sell more drugs” and a man at a festival asked: “Did someone sh*t on you mate? Is that why you look like that?”

Speaking with news.com.au, Ahmed said the killing of George Floyd and the protests it sparked around the world “brought up a lot of past experiences of racism for me, which motivated me to speak out against it”.

He said his time in Australia has been shared with some “great people” and that he’s made close friends “but my time here has been tainted by numerous experiences of racism”.

“So I decided to share some of these incidents on Twitter using the hashtag #RacisminAustralia and encouraged others to do the same.

“I thought if we talked about it people might realise it’s a problem, then we could start fixing it.”

He said the response was typical from Aussies who were “less sympathetic”.

“Some were overtly racist, which helped to prove my point in a way,” Ahmed said.

“Others rubbished the idea that racism exists in Australia or told me I should get over it, take it as a joke or leave if I didn’t like it.”

But he said he was heartened by the response from others.

“Many shared their own experiences which were sad, but important to hear,” he told news.com.au.

“Others offered support, pledging to call out racism when they see it. Someone even confronted a university about the way they were treated – they replied, promising to investigate the matter. Eventually the hashtag started trending in Australia.”

His message for those who tried to shut him down?

“I think people who take these views should try and empathise with those enduring racism,” he said.

“If they had a problem they wouldn’t want people to deny its existence, tell them to get over it or leave. Shutting down the conversation only perpetuates the problem.

“As a psychiatrist I know how damaging racism is for mental health. We all have a duty to try and eradicate it. We should be able to accept that there can be lots of good things about Australia and problems that need addressing. If we don’t, we can’t progress.”

Tens of thousands of Australians gathered over the weekend in cities including Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney to march to demand better treatment for people of colour in Australia, an end to Indigenous deaths in custody and to declare “Black Lives Matter”.

George Floyd was killed on a street corner in Minneapolis on May 25 as he was handcuffed and begging for air.

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin had his knee pressed into Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, including at least two minutes after Floyd lost consciousness.

He died on his way to hospital.

His death has sparked protests around the world.

rohan.smith1@news.com.au | @ro_smith





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Facebook, Twitter und Co. – Social Media – Fluch und Segen zugleich


Nikita Dhawan im Gespräch mit Katja Bigalke und Martin Böttcher


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Nikita Dhawan vor ihrer Festivalrede zum Auftakt der Ruhrtriennale 2018.  (imago images / Michael Kneffel)
Unser Gesprächsgast: die Politikwissenschaftlerin Nikita Dhawan von der Universität Gießen. (imago images / Michael Kneffel)

Ohne soziale Medien wäre der Tod von George Floyd vermutlich niemals einer weltweiten Öffentlichkeit bekannt geworden. Doch vertiefe Debatten sind in sozialen Netzen fast unmöglich. Eine Einordnung des digitalen öffentlichen Raumes mit der Politologin Nikita Dhawan.

Es war ein Video, das um die Welt ging. Fast neun Minuten lang kniete ein Polizeibeamter auf dem Nacken des schwarzen Amerikaners George Floyd, bis dieser starb. Die Reaktionen darauf führten zu Protesten und das harte Durchgreifen der Polizei zu Unruhen in den USA.

Durch die Verbreitung von Smartphones und Social Media gelangten in den vergangen Jahren immer öfter Dokumentationen rassistischer Polizeigewalt in die öffentliche Debatte. Die Zugangshürden zum öffentlichen Raum sind sehr viel niedriger geworden.

Nikita Dhawan, Professorin für Politikwissenschaft, ordnet im Gespräch mit Deutschlandfunk Kultur die Entwicklung ein.

Von Männer in Kaffeehäusern zu Social Media

Es sei wichtig, die Geschichte des öffentlichen Raumes zu kennen, um den Kontext zu verstehen, sagt Dhawan. Die sozialen Medien seien ein virtueller öffentlicher Raum. Der Aufstieg des öffentlichen Raumes in Europa sei grundsätzlich eng mit dem Aufstieg der europäischen Aufklärung verbunden.

Ein Beispiel seien die Kaffeehäuser, in denen sich die Männer des Bürgertums trafen, um über wichtige Themen zu diskutieren, was einen großen Einfluss für die Entstehung der Demokratie in Europa gehabt habe.

Aus Sicht des Philosophen Jürgen Habermas sei der öffentliche Raum dadurch zu einer wichtigen Infrastruktur für die Aufklärung geworden. Habermas habe diesen öffentlichen Raum allerdings nicht mit der europäischen Geschichte der Kolonialisierung verbunden.

“Europa ist buchstäblich eine Kreation seiner Kolonien”

“Aber wenn sich die Männer des Bürgertums in den Kaffeehäusern getroffen haben, frage ich: Wo kam denn der Kaffee her? Oder der Zucker? Oder der Tabak, den sie dort geraucht haben? Wer hat die Aufklärung finanziert? Europa ist buchstäblich eine Kreation seiner Kolonien”, erklärt Dhawan.

Der heutige virtuelle und digitale öffentliche Raum sei sehr viel demokratischer als seine Vorläufer. Doch obwohl er zugänglicher sei, seien immer noch ausschließende Mechanismen vorhanden. 

Einerseits würde dieser neue öffentliche Raum Möglichkeiten des Austausches schaffen, auf der anderen Seite aber auch die Reproduktion von Hate Speech, Antisemitismus, Rassismus und Sexismus ermöglichen. .

Dies mache Social-Media-Plattformen zu einer Art “Pharmakon”, das gleichzeitig Gift, Gegengift und auch Medizin sein könne.

“Es gibt eine Klassenverzerrung beim traditionellen Medienpublikum”

Dhawan beschreibt das so: “Ich denke, einer der Vorteile von Plattformen wie Twitter, Instagram und Facebook ist, dass sich dort sehr viele Menschen schnell mobilisieren lassen. Traditionelle Formen der Berichterstattung können zwar auch eine breitere Öffentlichkeit erreichen, aber nur mit Einschränkungen.

Nehmen wir das Beispiel Zeitungen: Das Publikum muss sich Zeitungen leisten können, es müssen lesen können und es muss die Zeit haben, die Zeitung zu lesen. Wenn man 16 Stunden am Tag arbeitet, kann man nicht mit einer Tasse Tee und einer Zeitung starten. Es gibt also eine gewisse Klassenverzerrung beim traditionellen Medienpublikum.

Deshalb sagen viele Experten, dass die sozialen Plattformen schnell ein großes Publikum erreichen. Es wird aber auch darüber diskutiert, ob diese Form der Berichterstattung nicht auch zu oberflächlich ist.”

Weltweite Solidarität

Darum fordert Dhawan, dass es Möglichkeiten geben sollte, diese schnelle Mobilisierung und den Ideenaustausch in sozialen Netzen mit detaillierterer und nuancierterer Berichterstattung zu unterfüttern.

Ein ermutigendes Ereignis, das Dhawan momentan in den sozialen Medien beobachtet, seien die Solidaritätsbekundungen nach dem Tod George Floyds. Diese zeigten, dass die Welt dem Schmerz und dem Leid anderer nicht gleichgültig gegenübersteht. 

Wir hätten eine globale Öffentlichkeit, die die Idee lebt, dass wir alle im selben Boot sitzen und Gewalt gegen eine Person nicht toleriert wird, meint die Politologin.

Oft wird vergessen, vor der eigenen Tür zu kehren

Andererseits hat Dhawan auch eine Debatte gefunden, die derzeit in Indien geführt wird. Dort haben sich viele Bollywoodstars für eine Unterstützung von Black Lives Matter ausgesprochen.

Kritisiert werde von anderen Stars daran, dass in Indien nur Gewalt zum Thema werde, wenn sie im Ausland stattfindet.

Gewalt in Indien, wo in der Vergangenheit Muslime, Christen und Dalits – die sogenannten Unantastbaren – gelyncht wurden, – aufgrund des Verdachts, dass sie Rindfleisch besitzen -, da habe es in Indien keine Solidarität gegeben. 

Dhawan ist allerdings weniger optimistisch, dass die aktuellen Proteste in den USA schnell zu Änderungen im System führten könnten:

“Ich glaube, dass alle, die gerade die Ereignisse verfolgen oder sich daran beteiligen, hoffen, dass diese eine Reform des Systems, wenn nicht gar eine Revolution auslösen werden. Aber wir wissen auch wie schwer es ist, Strukturen wirklich zu verändern. 

Die Geschichte lehrt uns, dass wir das Schlimmste erwarten sollten, selbst wenn wir das Beste hoffen. Eine grundlegende Reform und Transformation, ganz egal, ob es um das Rechtssystem oder um soziale Beziehungen geht, ist ein schmerzhaft langsamer Prozess.

Ich glaube, das ist der Grund, weshalb schwarze Anführer und Aktivisten sagen, dass wir einerseits Protestpolitik betreiben müssen, aber im November trotzdem an die Wahlurne gehen sollten. Wir müssen am demokratischen System partizipieren, ganz egal wie problematisch es ist, um grundlegende Veränderungen anzustoßen.”

(hte)



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Social Media versus Trump: Snapchat folgt Twitter


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Snapchat entfernt Trump aus Discover-Bereich

Auf Snapchat hat Donald Trump rund 1,5 Millionen Follower und ber die “Discover”-Funktion schlgt der Dienst die Beitrge des US-Prsidenten auch anderen Nutzern vor. Damit ist jetzt Schluss: Wie Snapchat bekannt gab, will das Unternehmen nicht lnger als Verstrker fr rassistische Gewalt und Ungerechtigkeit dienen. Trumps Account bleibe zwar bei Snapchat bestehen, allerdings msse der Prsident in Zukunft auf die Werbung ber “Discover” verzichten. Sein Wahlkampfteam sieht in der Aktion einen Eingriff in die US-Wahlen 2020. Es wirft dem Anbieter vor, gezielt die Kandidaten der Demokraten zu untersttzen und Trump auszubremsen. hnliche Aussagen hatte der Prsident selbst in der Vergangenheit gettigt. Den sozialen Netzwerken steht es frei, welche Posts sie bewerben und welche nicht.

Facebook zgert mit Reaktion auf Trump

Whrend Twitter und Snapchat nun angesichts der kritischen Postings von Donald Trump also Konsequenzen gezogen haben, zaudert Facebook damit weiterhin. Bisher hat sich Chef Mark Zuckerberg noch nicht geuert, wie er damit umgehen will. Sein Unternehmen steht derzeit am Pranger, da ein Posting, das Twitter mit einem Warnhinweis versehen hatte, bei Facebook nach wie vor ohne Hinweis aufrufbar ist. Kritiker werfen dem Netzwerk vor, dadurch Gewaltverherrlichung zu untersttzen. Viele Facebook-Mitarbeiter protestieren gegen Zuckerberg und dessen (Nicht-)Umgang mit Trumps Aussagen. Ob das die Meinung des Chefs ndert, ist allerdings fraglich.



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