Tom Ginsburg Asks What is Meant by ‘Neutrality’ for Platforms in the Wake of the Twitter Files
The Wicked Problem Embodied by The Twitter Files
Stefano Feltri raises all the right questions about the Twitter Files. We should ask why this is not getting more public attention and debate. But his last comment misses an important point: there is no neutral position when it comes to the platforms.
Feltri argues that “Twitter should not interfere with content that users share on its platform, especially if it is journalism.” Leaving aside the pregnant question about what exactly counts as journalism in our era, I take him to mean that humans who work at Twitter should not manipulate the distribution of stories on the basis of their own views of the content’s accuracy. This seems quite right to me, and extends as well to the principal owner. But “sharing” on twitter is not a natural phenomenon. It is a highly mediated act, involving proprietary algorithmic distribution that no user is in a position to understand. Twitter is “interfering” with speech by its very act of directing who sees what and when.
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