National Security | Military Ethics | Global Far-Right Extremism | Counter-Terrorism | Antisemitism

Big Tech Becomes Alt-Tech: The Clash between Social Media Networks and Democracy

Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, considered part of the Big-Tech ecosystem, heralds an alarming change regarding online disinformation. Statements about removing censorship and allowing free speech, accompanied by solid end-to-end encryption and weakening the enforcement of online content monitoring, are prominent warning signs for democracy and its institutions.

The transfer of control over information and data and supervision of how it can be used into the hands of individuals becomes a tangible danger due to the lack of checks and balances and captive users. The fact that far-right activists desire to go back to Twitter and re-open their blocked accounts to spread far-right propaganda clearly demonstrates the risk that it poses. By monitoring posts of activists in encrypted and non-encrypted far-right communication channels towards two events that occurred in October and November 2022, the U.S. mid-term elections and the purchase of Twitter by Musk, there is a clear demonstration of the danger posed to public order and to the stability of democracy by social networks platforms terms of use.

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