Microblog social network Twitter has blocked the account of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party , the third-strongest in Greek parliament after winning 7% of the votes, in 2015 elections. The party also wins seats in European Parliament. According to current opinion polls, it is holding its ground among the voters, now at 6.8%. Golden Dawn is the most vehement critics of illegal mass migration and globalism, nostalgic about ‘old good days’ of Ancient Sparta.
The communication company for social networking service did not explain their decision to block the Golden Dawn account, however it was interpreted as the move to terminate activities of a political group with views unappealing to Twitter’s management.
“After Facebook, … Instagram and all the corrupt media, it was Twitter’s turn to target the party in a vulgar manner,” Golden Dawn said in response.
The party’s Twitter page was still inaccessible as of Friday, January, 6.
Irrespectful of the views of the Greek parliamentary group, the precedent raises questions about the powers of social network companies, which accumulated an extraordinary authority, transcending national borders to influence politics, and potentially threaten the very basis of participative democracy, when discriminating an “unfortunate” political player.
The phenomenon of social media is relatively new byproduct of Digital revolution, however its steep rise in popularity, and immense power on public opinion, has not been legally framed so far. The communication companies in ante-Digital era, providing telephone services, or mail services did not have powers to cut connection based on the content of the conversations, or correspondence neither had they right of surveillance.
The decision of the Twitter company also coincided with a declared intention of French President Emmanuel Macron to defeat ‘fake news,’ in social media by creating a new law, which will be drafted and presented to open debate in upcoming weeks.