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Středa, 10. února 2021 - Brusel Revidované vydání

8. Demokratická kontrola sociálních médií a ochrana základních práv (rozprava)
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  Elnök asszony. – A következő napirendi pont: A Tanács és a Bizottság nyilatkozatai – A közösségi média demokratikus ellenőrzése és az alapvető jogok védelme (2021/2512(RSP)).

Emlékeztetem a képviselőket, hogy az ülés egyik vitája esetében sem kerül sor jelentkezés alapján történő felszólalásra, és nem fogadunk el kékkártyát sem.

Az első felszólaló a Tanács nevében Ana Paula Zacarias.


  Ana Paula Zacarias, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, recent weeks have shown that even the most robust democratic structures are not safe from damage. What happened on the other side of the Atlantic must inform our debate in Europe, as our democratic societies are not immune to the harmful influence of hate speech, disinformation, fake news and incitement to violence.

These events have also shed light on the increased importance of online platforms and social media companies in shaping public debate. They have highlighted the growing interconnection that exists between digital transformation and democracy, which is one of the priorities of the Portuguese Presidency. It is unquestionable that social media companies have the status of public squares, which means they should have responsibilities when it comes to enhancing citizens’ participation and ensuring freedom of expression.

Nevertheless, freedom of expression is not absolute. It should be balanced with the goal of combating illegal hate speech, incitement to violence and radicalisation, both online and offline. What is illegal? What is illegal offline must be illegal online. Online platforms have repeatedly been criticised for the lack of transparency in the use of algorithms, on content moderation and for targeting users on the basis of a vast amount of personal data generated from online activity. The digital space has also become a breeding ground for conspiracies and fake news. Disinformation spreads faster than any virus. Education, media and digital literacy are the best vaccines against that.

We expect online platforms to play their part in this common fight, but it is up to the democratic institutions – our laws, our courts – to set the rules of the game, to define what is illegal and what is not, what must be removed and what should not be. Without democratic scrutiny and a level playing field, there is a risk to users’ rights, information flows and public participation.

The protection of fundamental rights requires transparent and consistent rules for all of us, including social media outlets. The recently proposed European Democracy Action Plan, the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act are important steps forward and will make the digital environment more transparent and actors like social media companies more accountable. The Council has already started the discussions on these important instruments. These initiatives must also be considered in conjunction with the upcoming Media and Audiovisual Action Plan, which will be the subject of the Council conclusions that we intend to adopt during our Presidency.

In addition, we are expecting, for the third quarter of the year, a Commission legislative proposal to ensure greater transparency in the area of sponsored content in a public context, complementing the Digital Services Act. The Council is ready to cooperate with this Parliament to ensure adoption sufficiently ahead of the 2024 European elections. Moreover, the Presidency will host the Digital Assembly in Lisbon in June, where the concepts of digital democracy and digital rights will be discussed.

The Presidency intends to consolidate the idea that Europe is a reference in the digital era and that our values and way of doing business are a competitive advantage. We want to place this idea at the heart of the European Digital Strategy for the next digital decade. The Presidency will also hold a high—level conference on the future of journalism and its interconnection with artificial intelligence, with a special focus on the robotisation of news production.

The current times have brought into sharp relief the unavoidable reality that what is happening online shapes our lives, beliefs and choices. It deeply influences what we buy or who we vote for, who we listen to, and even our opinion on vaccines. In its recent conclusions, the Council stressed the need to foster a well—functioning digital public sphere, greater accountability and improved transparency in addressing disinformation.

Countering this scourge is crucial to preserve open political debate and the effective participation of citizens. We need to prevent social media functioning as an echo chamber which suppresses different points of view, and we need to make sure our citizens are equipped to manage the flood of information they are exposed to every day. In times such as this, believing in unreliable information may be lethal. We welcome, therefore, the work on the Rapid Alert System and other monitoring instruments. We encourage support for media and digital literacy, media pluralism, media independence and fact checking.

Let me reassure you that the Presidency is committed to working with the European Parliament, the Commission and the European External Action Service on these crucial issues in order to promote and protect our fundamental rights and our democracy.


  Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, thank you for organising this debate. I know we don’t have much time, so I will try to be brief rather than exhaustive in my introductory remarks.

Social media has transformed the way we communicate with each other, debate on political issues or do campaigning. There are a lot of new opportunities, but also a lot of problems. With the recent attack on the Capitol, we’ve got a tangible yet tragic proof that many people have simply lost trust in democratic institutions. Going online only exacerbated many of the existing problems and cleavages in our societies.

The US events are the moment of reckoning, also because they reminded us of the power Twitter, Facebook and other technological corporations possess. The fact that they can permanently remove an account of a sitting president based on vague criteria and unclear oversight is really worrying.

Even though, I believe President Trump’s irresponsible incitement to violence deserved action, it is high time to reign in the unchecked power of the digital corporations. Whatever we do, we must uphold the principle of freedom of speech. I do not want to create the ministry of or arbiter of truth. This is the main principle.

So what can we do? First, we need tougher regulation, more enforceable obligations and to increase the responsibility of digital players. We have recently proposed the Digital Services Act, that will increase accountability of online platforms and clarify the rules for taking down illegal content, including hate speech and incitement to violence.

This is a ground-breaking proposal, and will also give us the tools for stronger monitoring and enforcement of the obligations of online platforms. We need these rules urgently and we are ready to work together with you and the Member States to quickly adopt this law.

What can we do already now, while waiting for the Digital Services Act to become law? We can equip ourselves already now with better tools to fight disinformation and harmful content.

The European Democracy Action Plan is our map of what we should do next in this respect. We can already now strike a new pact against disinformation with better accountability of algorithms and no arbitrary decisions by big online platforms. We can and should have more transparency of their policies and access to relevant data.

In the Digital Services Act we moved away from assessing harmful content and focused on the manipulative techniques of online distribution. We need to go more in detail on this – paid promotion and paid likes, reactions from fake accounts, bots can be particularly dangerous for democracy, notably during elections. This is why I will propose new regulation on online political advertising.

And freedom of speech is not the same as freedom of reach. Regulation alone will not, and in my view should not, address all the details of digital life. When I talked to Mark Zuckerberg and other CEOs of the Big Tech, we discussed solutions that go beyond regulation because we must not sacrifice freedom of expression, which requires open space, be it online or offline.

They cannot judge and evaluate every piece of content posted on them. This is why we need to reshape the thinking of tech companies and tech workers. Architects follow not only law but also ethical codes to ensure that the buildings they design are safe for people. Coders and IT experts should have a similar approach when designing their algorithms, something I rarely hear from the tech executives.

And third, we cannot focus on social media platforms alone. We need to make our education fit for digital reality. We all have to become more digitally literate, understand the basics of what is happening online and why we are seeing certain content. This will allow us to navigate safely online.

As a person coming, as many of you do, from an ex—totalitarian country, in my case communist Czechoslovakia, I have tasted life without democracy and freedom of speech. I believe we need to bring order to the digital expression of democracy and to end the digital Wild West.

What is illegal offline must be illegal online, but we also have to work on restoring trust among citizens. Facts belong to everyone. Opinions belong to an individual. And this distinction has been damaged and can only be repaired if there is trust in science, in authorities and society. We all have a very important role to play in this as well.


  Magdalena Adamowicz, w imieniu grupy PPE. – Pani Przewodnicząca! Pani Komisarz! Szanowni Państwo! Od kilkunastu godzin trwa w Polsce wojna o wolność mediów. Wojna o to, czy polscy obywatele mogą znać prawdę czy też władza ma decydować, jaka ta prawda ma być. Kłamiąc, że chodzi o większe podatki, władzy tak naprawdę chodzi o większe posłuszeństwo obywateli. Bo władza za pomocą podległych sobie mediów posłuszeństwo obywateli chce hodować. Jak na Węgrzech. Jak w Rosji.

Co mamy robić, gdy władze kraju członkowskiego Unii Europejskiej odbierają swoim obywatelom prawo do rzetelnej informacji? Znów Parlament ma mówić: nie ma na to naszej brukselskiej zgody? Znów ma tylko mówić? Tupać nogą i krzyczeć?

Jest granica, za którą bezradność staje się upokorzeniem. Upokorzeniem tych, którzy w osamotnieniu bronią wolności i demokracji. Jak powiada rzymska maksyma, „Vim vi repellere licet” – siłą wolno odeprzeć siłę. Siłą adekwatną do zagrożenia. Dlatego do adekwatnego działania wzywam całą Unię Europejską. Dlatego do solidarności z polskimi wolnymi mediami wzywam wszystkie wolne media na świecie. Bo skoro spotkało to nas, to może spotkać i Was.

Tu kończę. To, co pozostało z mojego czasu, przeznaczam na milczenie. Na ciszę, która niech będzie ostrzeżeniem. Bo jeśli nie zareagujemy teraz działaniem, niebawem ta chwila ciszy może stać się minutą milczenia, milczenia nad trumną polskiej demokracji. A skoro polskiej, to i europejskiej.


  Marina Kaljurand, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, all this disinformation and hate speech is not a new issue; it has been developing for years. Although some measures have been introduced, such as the East StratCom Task Force, they have so far been insufficient to counter efficiently the assault on our democracies. After the riots in Capitol Hill, the ultimate price of allowing disinformation and hatred to spread unchecked online is clear for all of us. Finding a balance between limiting harmful content while maintaining freedom of speech might be a challenging task, but it is doable and it must be addressed now.

I look forward to this debate, particularly as we now have a concrete opportunity to address these issues through new draft legislation, including the Digital Services Act, which will establish new rules, including on advertising, transparency, illegal content removal and data access. Continuing to improve the Commission’s code of conduct on disinformation is a necessary step.

But we also need to extend our offline safeguards to the online world by limiting the use of targeted advertising and the profiling of users. I welcome the Commission’s initiative on online political advertising.

We also need to explore ways to promote media literacy skills to increase users’ knowledge. With the GDPR, the EU led the way and set an example. Now we need to go further. The Digital Services Act can facilitate the development of our digital economy while protecting fundamental rights and providing increased security from online harms. This is our EU opportunity to lead the way, and I hope that we can do it together with our allies in the United States and beyond.


  Dragoş Tudorache, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Madam President, in a world where being connected has become as important as a fundamental right, the rise of social media has fundamentally transformed our society. The idols of our children are born on social media, we can be bullied or abused on social media, elections are lost or won on social media. Looking at the years ahead and the decisions facing us, I want to make three points.

First, there is no online and offline world. There is only one world, one in which we must protect our citizens’ rights and our democracies in equal measure, both online and offline. The Digital Services Act (DSA) is a good step in this direction, and I commend the Commission for the level of ambition in the proposal.

Second, social media has become a political tool for some, a tactical battlefield for others. Politicians, informal communities, structured organisations, and even states themselves, all embrace social media as the weapon of choice.

But social media platforms are private companies so they alone do not have the incentive, the means or the legitimacy to take on politicians or state actors. They require democratic oversight and assistance for that, just as we require from them cooperation and compliance. So we are not adversaries, us and the platforms. We need to find together a burden-sharing equilibrium that guarantees both the common good and technological progress.

My third point is that social media is global and geopolitical, so we need to use our entire diplomatic arsenal to protect our citizens’ rights and our way of life online. We need to work with the United States and other like-minded partners to define the rules of the future based on our shared values. And we need to use our dissuasion tools to address appropriately states such as Russia who use social media to sabotage our democracies and our common European project, or states such as China who work to build an alternative digital future without playing by the same rules or without relating to the same values.


  Annalisa Tardino, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, le grandi piattaforme e i social media offrono senza dubbio delle grandi opportunità, utili alla società, a maggior ragione in quella odierna in cui le distanze fisiche si sono estese, ma devono muoversi all'interno di regole chiare.

I giganti del web per anni hanno affermato di essere dei contenitori neutri. Oggi è invece chiaro che le loro policy incidono nel mondo reale, proclamandosi censori di quali siano i messaggi accettabili e di quali no. E questo ci conduce a un grande quesito, che ha precise connotazioni politiche e giuridiche: chi deve decidere cosa si può pubblicare nello spazio digitale?

Vedete, io non credo che qui siano in gioco interessi di parte. Non si tratta di decidere se difendere le idee di un partito o di un singolo eletto, ma di tutelare i valori della democrazia e la libertà di espressione, anche del singolo cittadino.

Per questo come Lega abbiamo chiesto questo dibattito. Io credo che un possibile oscuramento delle pagine di Donald Trump o di Ursula von der Leyen o di un quotidiano o di chiunque dovrebbe essere deciso da leggi che definiscono parametri e procedure chiare, e non grazie a linee guida fatte in casa da colossi privati che fungono quasi da giudici della democrazia.

Questo è un ruolo che spetta ai legislatori, al quale noi non possiamo e non dobbiamo abdicare. L'Unione europea deve agire senza indugio a salvaguardia del dibattito democratico e libero sui social.


  Alexandra Geese, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, with so much information available and the possibility for billions of people to express their opinions freely in the Internet, democracy should flourish.

Why is the opposite happening? Why are we seeing disinformation and hate speech thriving, fuelling extremism and violence, as we have all seen on Capitol Hill? The answer is easy. Because this information is circulating on giant private platforms whose only goal is maximising profit. And we are the raw material.

Companies like Google and Facebook track every single step we take online and offline, and put micro-profiles and models that allow them to predict our behaviour. Those predictions are then sold to advertisers. This is where the revenue of those companies comes from: from us, from our behaviour. And the same micro-profiles allow the companies to keep us very effectively on their platforms, appealing to strong feelings like fear and hate and anger, which trigger us to interact longer, to share more, to generate more revenue.

Hence the hate, hence the disinformation. And now some people think that we can solve the problem these companies have created by asking them to arbitrarily censor this harmful content themselves. That is not an option for democracy. But the good news is the remedy is easy.

Let us ban the surveillance business model, starting with a ban on targeted advertising. This is something we can easily do in the Digital Services Act. Colleagues, let’s do it.


  Geert Bourgeois, namens de ECR-Fractie. – Voorzitter, de wet inzake digitale diensten zal de digitale interne markt stimuleren, wat onder meer cruciaal is voor onze kmo’s. Het is goed dat we de almacht van de platformen aan banden willen leggen, maar het “notice and action”-systeem zal als gevolg van het mechanisme voor melding, kennis en aansprakelijkheid tot censuur leiden. De platformen zullen elk bericht door hun algoritme halen met als resultaat hyperpolitiek correcte censuur, zoals het geval was bij Facebook.

De EU moet de vrijheid van meningsuiting als uitgangspunt nemen aan deze platformen een universele dienstverplichting opleggen. De platformen zijn immers zowel de post als de brievenbussen van de eenentwintigste eeuw. De censuur moet worden beperkt tot een uitputtende reeks ernstige gevallen. Over de rest is het aan de rechter om te oordelen, zoals dat in een rechtsstaat hoort.

Ik kom uit een van de weinige landen waar censuur grondwettelijk verboden is. Laat dat ook de leidraad zijn voor de Europese Unie.


  Anne-Sophie Pelletier, au nom du groupe The Left. – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Commissaire, chers collègues, «comment fait-on pour que les hommes arrêtent de violer?» Des centaines de comptes Twitter ont été suspendus pour avoir posé cette question. Alors j’use de ma liberté de citoyenne et de ma position de députée européenne pour vous interroger. Est-ce que quelqu’un conteste ma liberté de poser cette question que beaucoup estiment légitime?

Ayons le courage de dire «stop» aux grandes plateformes sur la censure opaque organisée contre la liberté d’expression et d’opinion. Sur internet, la liberté des uns ne doit pas s’arrêter là où les grands patrons des médias sociaux l’ont décidé. Internet doit être un espace d’émancipation individuelle et collective, sans centralisation excessive des pouvoirs de régulation aux mains des acteurs privés.

La place prééminente des plateformes dans la modération du débat public politique est une menace pour nos modèles démocratiques. Leur monopole, leurs algorithmes, leurs conditions d’utilisation, l’incapacité des autorités publiques à contrôler la modération sont des problématiques qui structurent l’impasse démocratique dans laquelle nous sommes. Censure de personnalités politiques, censure de propos et effacement de contenu sans décision de justice, censure de comptes féministes, censure de campagnes de sensibilisation aux droits LGBT, mise en avant de contenus polémiques, sont différentes illustrations des atteintes aux libertés des citoyens et à la neutralité d’internet.

La censure n’est jamais la solution. Ce n’est que par le pluralisme des médias ainsi que par des politiques éducatives développant l’esprit critique et la tolérance que nos sociétés pourront lutter contre toute forme de haine en ligne et contre la manipulation de l’information.

Transparence, responsabilité partagée et protection des droits fondamentaux des citoyens doivent être les lignes directrices des prochains cadres de la législation sur les services numériques et la législation sur le marché numérique, car il revient aux politiques de cadrer l’influence des réseaux sociaux sur le débat politique avant qu’ils ne le cadrent pour nous.


  Laura Ferrara (NI). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Commissaria, i social media hanno ampliato le opportunità di partecipazione alla vita pubblica e al dibattito politico, agevolando l'accesso alle informazioni e alla libertà di espressione. Non siamo però ancora adeguatamente protetti dalla proliferazione di fake news, di contenuti discriminatori, di incitamento all'odio e alla violenza. Abbiamo sperimentato infatti come campagne di disinformazione e ingerenze straniere possano trovare terreno fertile per influenzare l'opinione pubblica, per polarizzare le società, per minare i processi democratici.

Con il piano d'azione per la democrazia e le proposte riguardanti i servizi e i mercati digitali, ci aspettiamo allora degli interventi significativi per regolamentare le pratiche opache di microtargeting e per ottenere maggiore trasparenza sul funzionamento degli algoritmi nelle procedure di controllo e moderazione dei contenuti online. Allo stesso tempo, però, è indispensabile mitigare il rischio di conflitto con la libertà di opinione derivante da decisioni adottate in base a poteri discrezionali di una oligarchia di entità commerciali private, anziché in base a regole che diano maggiori garanzie di libertà e di imparzialità.


  President. – Dear colleagues, now that the interventions in the name of the political groups have ended, I would like to remind you that we have a very long speaker list in this debate, a really long one. So the only way to keep to the time is if you keep to your speaking time. I would like to say that I am going to be very strict and very loud and very serious about keeping to the speaking time, so please keep to your speaking time.


  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, Senhora Secretária de Estado, Senhora Comissária, a esfera pública e a esfera de comunicação mudaram radicalmente. Do mundo em que tínhamos mediadores e mediações (na política, os parlamentos, os partidos, as instituições; na esfera social, a imprensa, as televisões, as rádios), passamos, de repente, através das redes sociais, para a ilusão da democracia direta.

Os mediadores caíram e agora, nas redes sociais, todos pensam que podem abolir a comunicação social e os meios tradicionais. Todos pensam que através da participação direta podem até substituir os parlamentos. Não faltam países em que se decreta ou se defende a abolição dos parlamentos. Não mais a mediadores. Só a participação direta, através das redes sociais, com um voto que até em leis e decisões podia ser diário através dos instrumentos digitais.

O problema é que, de repente, nos apercebemos que, por detrás das redes sociais e das companhias que as detêm, existe um mediador, um mediador escondido, um mediador secreto, que é o algoritmo, que é o controlador, que é o proprietário das redes sociais e, portanto, a liberdade de expressão está em perigo. Está em perigo por uma interferência externa, está em perigo por uma mediação escondida, está em perigo por falta de regulação democrática E, por isso, nós não podemos estar nas mãos das redes sociais. Temos de as pôr nas nossas mãos. É esse desafio que hoje aqui se debate.


  Ismail Ertug (S&D). – Madam President, although we are now one year into the pandemic, Facebook only decided this week to take down posts claiming vaccines cause autism. It took them one year to act against fake news. And a study released this week reveals that 83% of young people have already been confronted with fake news on social media and 25% of them cannot distinguish between fake news and real news. And this is, in my eyes, a threat. For years, and I think I am not exaggerating when I say social media platforms and Trump, for example, have benefited from each other. Only after Trump’s election defeat and him calling on his supporters to storm the Capitol did they decide to ban him. That means that Facebook, YouTube and Twitter took more than four years to ban him. And while I think it was right to ban Mr Trump from social media platforms, I would say that private companies should never act without reference to the law, and as the European Union this is the way we have to go.


  Michal Šimečka (Renew). – Madam President, I think it’s now clear that most social media have wildly outgrown their founders’ expectations and their impact on society is felt globally and, of course, in each individual country.

With such great power must come greater responsibility, because today there is very little incentive for social media corporations to ensure that their products are not used as vehicles for the mass spread of hate or lies or disinformation. In Slovakia, last year, journalists tracked 56 death threats posted publicly on Facebook, and actually had to call Facebook’s PR department before the death threats were taken down. So it was because of the action of journalists that the threats actually disappeared.

This is illustrative of a much bigger problem, which is that the social media corporations are unable or unwilling to ensure that their content not only meets ethical standards, but actually complies with the legislation and the laws of the country in which they operate. So, when we think about the future, the regulation must not be virtual, but real.


  Alessandra Basso (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Commissaria, nei media la diversità e il pluralismo dovrebbero essere legati dallo stesso obiettivo fondamentale in una democrazia liberale: quello di proporre ai cittadini una varietà di contenuti.

Sappiamo che nel DSA soprattutto le grandi piattaforme sono di fatto obbligate a dotarsi di meccanismi interni atti a ricevere notifiche da parte di qualunque persona od ente di contenuti ritenuti illegali. Nello stesso articolo si stabilisce che gli avvisi ricevuti diano luogo a conoscenza o consapevolezza effettiva, obbligando di fatto a rimuovere i supposti contenuti illegali o disabilitarne l'accesso. In sostanza, qualunque segnalazione fatta in supposta buona fede obbliga alla rimozione.

Ritengo incauto che la valutazione soggettiva di singoli individui o enti possa influire in modo determinante sul pieno rispetto della libertà di parola. Si vuole forse andare in una direzione opposta al pluralismo che dovrebbe caratterizzare una democrazia? Credo sia urgente una profonda riflessione.


  Marcel Kolaja (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, democratic scrutiny and protection of fundamental rights has to go hand-in-hand with addressing the issue of the dominant position of some tech platforms. Recent events in the United States demonstrated that large platforms, due to their size, have a systemic role in amplifying and shaping information flows and create parallel information bubbles. With the new Digital Markets Act, we need to enable an environment where people can not only scrutinise if they are being targeted by malicious actors via the platform, but also gain back effective control, where they have a choice to switch to an alternative, decentralised, open and privacy-friendly service. Only in this case can democratic scrutiny and the protection of fundamental rights have full effect.


  Elżbieta Kruk (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Czy władzę nad światem przejmują wielkie korporacje technologiczne, które już dziś kontrolują debatę publiczną, wpływają na wyniki wyborów, nie liczą się z nikim, są bezkarne?

Wczesny internet dawał wolność, działał jak Hyde Park online. Celem gigantów z Doliny Krzemowej w początkach ich działalności było dawanie ludziom za darmo dostępu do informacji, a ich zasadą „nie czyń zła”. Tak jednak było wczoraj, a dzisiaj mamy znów „rok 1984” – przewidział przyszłość Orwell i inni pisarze science fiction. Tym razem jednak to się dzieje naprawdę. Nie zgadzasz się z Wielkim Bratem, to zamknie ci usta, choćbyś był prezydentem Stanów Zjednoczonych. Ofiarą są zawsze konserwatywne poglądy w sieci. Kilku miliarderów Big Tech w imię lewackiej ideologii wypowiedziało wojnę wolności słowa, a ich poczynania można porównywać do działań państw totalitarnych.

Jesteśmy świadkami bezprecedensowego zagrożenia dla wolności. Z jednej strony cenzura i blokowanie kont, z drugiej cyfrowa inwigilacja i manipulacja. Bierność Komisji Europejskiej wobec tych monopolistycznych praktyk jest zadziwiająca. Najwyższy czas przeciwdziałać i wprowadzić regulacje chroniące wolność słowa w sieci.


  Sira Rego (The Left). – Señora presidenta, Abascal en España, Salvini en Italia, Le Pen en Francia, Orbán en Hungría, etcétera, etcétera. Todos ellos con un denominador común: el discurso del odio, los bulos racistas, la LGTBIfobia, el machismo, la exaltación del fascismo.

Por eso, para mí, el debate de fondo es el de la impunidad, el de la tolerancia con la que se ha aceptado la narrativa de la vulneración de los derechos humanos de la extrema derecha y, a partir de ahí, el uso de las redes sociales como diseminador del discurso del odio. Un peligro. Y, claro, es normal que surja la pregunta: ¿debe ser una multinacional la que determine cuándo y por qué se limita el uso de una cuenta o más bien debería ser un gran consenso antifascista el que dé lugar a una regulación pública para hacerlo?

Desde luego, nosotros creemos que se debe apostar por lo segundo. La única forma de garantizar el derecho fundamental de acceso a una información veraz, la única forma de erradicar el discurso del odio, es la intervención de los poderes públicos, la alianza firme para expulsar el odio de cualquier espacio público.


  Mislav Kolakušić (NI). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, suočeni smo s nastankom nove, moćne i beskrupulozne mafije koja je opasnija od svih dosadašnjih oblika organiziranog kriminala. Radi se o mafiji koja umjesto oružja koristi medije i to medije svih oblika za kampanju straha kako bi prodala milijarde svojih proizvoda. Posljednjih godinu dana gotovo svi mainstream mediji diljem Europe i svijeta obavještavaju građane i objavljuju neistine, potpuno neistinite podatke možemo pronaći u svim medijima koji se objavljuju na jednaki način. Potpuno je jasno da se radi o jednom te istom izvoru financiranja koji želi putem kampanje straha omogućiti njihovim financijerima da svake godine prodaju nekoliko milijardi svojih proizvoda. Budite svjesni kampanja straha neće stati zato što zarađuju desetine milijardi svake godine.


  Eva Maydell (PPE). – Madam President, what we hear today is that we as a Chamber are sometimes somewhat inconsistent in our calls to platforms, and thus by this we risk becoming irrelevant. We urged the platforms to act during the Rohingya case in 2016 when thousands of people were killed, but in 2021, when five people were killed in the Capitol attacks, we asked the platforms why did you act and silence Trump? So the problem, I think sometimes, is that we often call for different things.

I accept that platforms should not have the right to easily silence a president, of course, but what are the rules that would make this impossible in the future? I believe our job is to create them, and we are indeed on the right track. But in order to create them, we need to make sure we have clear definitions and visions of how we actually treat platforms. Do we consider them to be media? Are they a type of providers similar to cable TV operators? Or are they simply an environment in a place where everything is possible and can happen?

I think we need a coherent definition of that, and only then could we perhaps be consistent in our calls and, most importantly, successful in our efforts to create a just and a good environment, good rules for platforms that most importantly safeguard our fundamental rights and values.


  Tanja Fajon (S&D). – Gospa predsedujoča, svoboda medijev je v zadnjih letih v središču pozornosti z razlogom. Si predstavljate, da bi pred leti, ko družbenih medijev še ni bilo, časopisi in informativne oddaje vse povprek trošili lažne informacije, napačne. Zavajali so morda oglaševalci, ne pa novinarji, poročevalci, voditelji.

Danes pa je posamezniku na voljo vrsta preverjenih in nepreverjenih informativnih kanalov, ki mu služijo pri ustvarjanju resnice. Zelo me skrbi, kako preprosto je objaviti popolno laž in dezinformacijo in zanjo ne prevzeti nobene odgovornosti, češ da gre za svobodo govora in na ta način diskreditirati tarčo napada.

Takšne in podobne objave, napade, žalitve v večini danes uporablja populistična desnica, ki s svojimi avtokratski težnjami spodkopava demokracijo in se požvižga na temeljne človekove pravice. Svobodne medije vidijo celo kot svoje sovražnike in ne kot temeljni vidik svobodne družbe.

Za eno bolj učinkovitih taktik širjenja dezinformacij se je izkazala strankarska prilastitev novo nastalih medijev, ki služijo izključno promoviranju strankarske ideologije. Na žalost takšne prakse uporablja vse več politikov, ki blatijo in širijo neresnice o svojih političnih nasprotnikih tudi v Sloveniji, slovenski premier.

Različni pogledi in prepričanja so seveda nekaj povsem normalnega. Ko konstruktivni dialog zamenjajo laži in žaljiva ali celo sovražna retorika, je naša demokracija resnično v nevarnosti. Takrat gredo stvari tako daleč, da se zgodi udar, kot se je zgodil na Kapitol.

Znašli smo se na križišču med svobodo in pravicami posameznika do izražanja in močno pozdravljam akcijski načrt, ki ga je predstavila Evropska komisija.


  Karen Melchior (Renew). – Madam President, we have no digital democracy. We have democracy. We have no digital human rights. We have human rights. Our freedom of expression must be protected equally online as we protect it offline. More and more of our communication and democracy is taking place online and, under COVID, it has quickly become much more, as we no longer make a distinction between the online and the offline but rather regard it as one and the same – our lives, our reality, our democracy. What that means is that the same principles of human rights must be respected online as well as offline.

In the past decade, we’ve observed the platformisation of the internet. Openness and free spirit have been consolidated into the monopoly of a few platforms. Therefore, the regulation of digital platforms has become even more important. However, the laws of physics online are different from those in the offline world. Therefore, we cannot simply apply regulation designed for the offline world online. Attempting to do so leads to a restriction of our human rights and has a chilling effect on our democracy.


  Tom Vandendriessche (ID). – Voorzitter, de sociale media zijn vandaag de dag wat de boekdrukkunst was in de middeleeuwen: een instrument voor burgers om hun standpunt te vertolken en hun belangen te verdedigen.

Net zoals vroeger reageert de heersende elite echter met censuur en onderdrukking om, onder het mom van de bestrijding van zogenaamd nepnieuws, te bepalen wat de waarheid is. Maar een waarheid die door censuur beschermd moet worden, is een leugen. Men wil, onder het mom van de bestrijding van zogenaamde haatzaaiende taal, verzet tegen ongewenste migratie en multiculturele omvolking criminaliseren. Maar net zoals een moeder voor haar kinderen zorgt, is dit verzet niet uit haat voor wat vreemd is, maar uit liefde voor wat eigen is.

Een democratie kan niet bestaan zonder de vrijheid van meningsuiting. Dat is geen kwestie van links of rechts, of van het met elkaar eens of oneens zijn; dat is een grondrecht dat ons allen voor tirannie behoed.

Censuur op de sociale media moet daarom worden bestraft. We moeten de oligarchie van Silicon Valley opbreken om de grondrechten en de fundamentele vrijheden van onze burgers en onze democratie te beschermen.


  Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, the NGO AlgorithmWatch reports that existing transparency tools have failed. Our laws are not yet fit for purpose in the digital world. Our democracies are not ready for the challenges to our liberties and fundamental rights.

We often debate these issues, but we still do not have adequate rules at the European level. What we need most here is transparency of algorithm, to hold platforms accountable for the impact on democratic processes and to scrutinise their actions.

We need transparency of algorithm to share the data with researchers, for example, at the new European Digital Media Observatory. We need transparency of algorithm to fight disinformation, and we need transparency to help us understand how online spaces have become hotbeds of systemic inequality and discrimination.

Women and minorities are deserting the online space more and more often, after extremely violent experiences. We are not just talking about a few isolated cases, but about a problem that is becoming more and more mainstream, and we do not have this transparency of algorithm.


  Nicola Procaccini (ECR). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Commissaria, come ECR abbiamo chiesto questo dibattito perché sulle piattaforme digitali ormai si svolge la maggior parte delle nostre relazioni in ambito sociale, educativo, economico e politico, e non è possibile negarne la regolamentazione a delle multinazionali private, soprattutto se ciò condiziona le nostre democrazie.

Può piacere o non piacere ciò che dice un semplice cittadino europeo o il Presidente degli Stati Uniti d'America in un determinato momento storico, ma la loro libertà di espressione può essere limitata o soppressa solo se a stabilirlo è un'autorità pubblica, contro la quale eventualmente appellarsi se si ritiene di aver subito un torto. Ciò che è illegale offline deve esserlo anche online, è stato detto poco fa. Giusto. Si tratta infatti della cosiddetta riserva di legge che è alla base dello Stato di diritto.


  Niyazi Kizilyürek (The Left). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die sozialen Medien dürfen keine Plattformen für Hass, Rassismus, Desinformation und Hetze werden. Der freie Internet-, Informations- und Kommunikationszugang muss für alle gewährleistet sein und der Zugang zum Internet muss ein öffentliches Gut sein.

Ein freies Internet mit demokratisch kontrollierten Plattformen ist also das Gebot der Stunde. Das bedeutet: gemeinsame EU-Regeln, insbesondere eine strenge Antimonopol- beziehungsweise Antikartellkontrolle; aktive Teilnahme der Internetkonzerne; Einbindung der Zivilgesellschaft.

Darüber hinaus müssen sich die verschiedenen Plattformen zu verständlich ausgedrückten Allgemeinen Geschäftsbedingungen verpflichten. Die Nutzer müssen auch das Recht auf Mitnahme der Daten und Beziehungen von einem sozialen Netzwerk zum anderen haben.

Schließlich ist es höchste Zeit für eine gerechte Besteuerung und Verteilung der enormen Gewinne der Internetgiganten. Die Reichen endlich zur Kasse!


  Κώστας Παπαδάκης (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, αλληλοκατηγορίες και άσφαιρες ηθικές κορόνες· όλα είναι εμπορικός πόλεμος για το ποιος θα αποκτήσει προβάδισμα στην ψηφιακή οικονομία. Οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες, η Κίνα ή η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση; Με εφόδιό τους σχετικές ψηφιακές συμφωνίες που υπηρετούν τα συμφέροντα των ομίλων και με πρόσχημα την προστασία των προσωπικών δεδομένων, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και οι ΗΠΑ ανταγωνίζονται για τον έλεγχο της μαζικής καταγραφής, φακελώματος, εμπορίας και εκμετάλλευσης δεδομένων από κρατικές και άλλες υπηρεσίες και ομίλους, με κριτήριο τα αστρονομικά τους κέρδη, τα οποία —μάλιστα— είναι πολλαπλάσια εν μέσω πανδημίας. Ταυτόχρονα, συνεργάζονται αποσπώντας και διαβιβάζοντας προσωπικά δεδομένα και πληροφορίες στις πλάτες των λαών, εντείνοντας τον χαφιεδισμό και την καταστολή σε βάρος του εργατικού λαϊκού κινήματος. Όσο τα δεδομένα, η συλλογή και η επεξεργασία τους είναι στην ιδιοκτησία και υπό τον έλεγχο των μονοπωλίων των αστικών κρατών που υπηρετούν την καπιταλιστική εκμετάλλευση, δεν υπάρχει τρόπος προστασίας τους. Η εργατική λαϊκή πάλη και ο αγώνας για την υπεράσπιση των λαϊκών δικαιωμάτων και ελευθεριών συνδέονται άρρηκτα με την πάλη για την ανατροπή αυτής της βαρβαρότητας που μετατρέπει τις τεράστιες επιστημονικές και τεχνολογικές δυνατότητες σε νέα δεσμά σε βάρος των λαών.


  Balázs Hidvéghi (PPE). – Tisztelt Elnök asszony! Tisztelt kollégák! Mára mindennapossá vált, hogy az internetes óriáscégek egyetlen gombnyomással törölnek számukra ideológiailag nem tetsző véleményeket. Egy amerikai elnök letiltása – függetlenül személyétől és megítélésétől – teljes mértékben elfogadhatatlan és sérti a demokratikus alapelveket. A nagy közösségi platformok ma már nem egyszerűen szociális hálózatok, amelyek megkönnyítik a kapcsolattartást az ismerőseinkkel, hanem olyan online felületek, amelyek az élet minden területét befolyásolják: az üzleti életet, a közszolgáltatásokat, művészetet, kultúrát, a közbeszédet és így a politikát is. Az utóbbi hónapok fejleményei világosan megmutatják, hogy a technológiai óriáscégek vezetői a szólásszabadságot korlátozó politikai szereplőkké váltak adott esetben.

Szabályok hiányában visszaélnek helyzetükkel: törölnek, moderálnak, cenzúráznak úgy, ahogy épp a kedvük tartja. A politikai véleménykifejezés jelentős része ma már a világhálón zajlik, ezért biztosítani kell, hogy a szólásszabadság az interneten is mindenkor érvényesüljön. A technológiai óriáscégek nem lehetnek a nyilvánosság döntőbírái. A szabad véleménynyilvánítás a demokrácia alappillére és csak kivételes esetben korlátozható és csak törvények alapján. Ha vannak törvényeink, amelyek szabályozzák az írott és elektronikus sajtó működését, akkor ugyanerre van szükség az internet esetében is. Olyan szabályokra van szükség, amelyek rábírják az internetes óriáscégeket a törvényes, átlátható és ellenőrizhető működésre, és nem engedik meg, hogy azok önkényesen saját érdekeik szerint korlátozzák mindannyiunk szabadságát.


  Christel Schaldemose (S&D). – Fru formand! De sociale medier i dag er langt mere end bare virtuelle årsbøger eller isolerede chattjenester. Deres udbredelse og brug har gjort dem til offentlige rum. Opslag på de sociale medier bliver til nyheder i tv, aviser og radio, og nyhedsmedierne deler deres historier på de sociale platforme, hvor især unge får størstedelen af deres nyheder. Her påvirker borgerne politikerne, og politikerne borgerne. Der er ingen tvivl om, at de sociale medier spiller en stor rolle i den demokratiske samtale, og derfor skal vi insisterer på demokratiske spilleregler.

Det er en kompliceret opgave at regulere det virtuelle offentlige rum. Jeg mener, vi skal have 3 principper for det videre arbejde, lovlighed, gennemsigtighed og klagemuligheder. Det, der er lovligt offline, skal også være lovligt online. Det skal være vores første princip. Det må ikke være de sociale mediers smagsdommeri, der begrænser ytringsfriheden. Dernæst skal der være gennemsigtighed i platformenes afgørelser. Vi skal som lovgiver kunne få indsigt i de algoritmer, der fremmer eller hæmmer opslag, og i de beslutninger, der ligger til grund for at fjerne opslag. Og endelig så skal der være klagemuligheder, så brugerne på de sociale medier kan få prøvet deres sag, hvis deres indhold fjernes. Vi skal sikre de bedste vilkår for den demokratiske samtale, også når den foregår virtuelt. Derfor er det en rigtig vigtig debat, vi har i dag.


  Maite Pagazaurtundúa (Renew). – Señora presidenta, señora comisaria, señora Zacarias, por las redes sociales ahora mismo circulan virus antidemocráticos que anulan el sistema inmunitario democrático de muchas personas. Conformar tribus en torno a dogmas de hostilidad ideológica es sencillo y tiene consecuencias en nuestra vida real. Todos los totalitarismos empiezan por la descalificación de los adversarios, por su deshumanización.

Hablamos de control democrático de las redes sociales, pero el primer espacio es el de quienes ostentamos cargos públicos, y muy especialmente de las personas con responsabilidades de gobierno. Alentar la hostilidad ideológica desde los Gobiernos es el juego más grave: lo hemos visto en los Estados Unidos, en Rusia, en Hungría, en la región catalana; lo sabemos con el vicepresidente segundo de mi país, Pablo Iglesias.

Comisaria Jourová, sería interesante contar con un código ético, europeo, de uso de redes sociales por parte de los poderes públicos y cargos públicos, como una forma de clarificar y establecer los estándares de comportamiento exigibles a los cargos públicos y de gobierno. Este código sería una base para que los Estados miembros pudieran incorporar en sus normas nacionales sobre buen gobierno este tipo de criterios.


  Philippe Olivier (ID). – Madame la Présidente, mes chers collègues, qu’est-ce que la liberté de s’exprimer si l’on vous interdit le papier et l’encre? C’est pourtant ce qui se passe aujourd’hui dans le monde entier pour des citoyens, des militants, des personnalités et des élus qui se voient arbitrairement censurés par les réseaux sociaux, sans condamnation préalable et sans possibilité d’appel.

Ainsi, en France, est-ce le cas, par exemple, du sénateur LR Sébastien Meurant, du député ex-LREM Joaquim Son-Forget ou encore de la députée Emmanuelle Ménard, tous trois censurés par Twitter pour avoir pensé autrement. Émettre une idée différente n’est pas un crime, c’est un droit.

Notre Parlement européen se grandirait à défendre la liberté d’expression face aux nouveaux censeurs que sont les géants du Net. C’est un combat difficile, mais la liberté d’expression n’a de sens que si elle permet de protéger les idées, toutes les idées, même celles qui peuvent aller à contre-courant. Les autres, les vérités officielles, on le sait, sont admises même dans les pires dictatures.


  Patrick Breyer (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, if the dominant internet platforms were states, they would be dictatorships that use an army of robots to spy on their citizens and manipulate them, that dictate the news headlines, that arbitrarily censor what their citizens may say, that cut off communication channels with citizens of other countries, that expel them at will from their country.

The EU must stop putting these tech despots and their error—prone machines in charge of curing society and of preventing violence and crime, lies and hate because this only fuels the despot’s powers, and despots will use despotic means.

The weapons of a democracy are humans, the rule of law and independent courts to take decisions. Let’s start setting up our own federated platforms and make corporate platforms interconnect. Let democracy reign in the digital age, not corporations and their machines.


  Robert Roos (ECR). – Voorzitter, big tech is te machtig en haar macht moet worden doorbroken. Burgers die zich in het openbare debat mengen, worden via selectieve algoritmes en moderatie digitaal in een bepaalde richting gestuurd of zelfs het zwijgen opgelegd. Dat is onaanvaardbaar.

Socialemediaplatforms zijn de zeepkisten van de eenentwintigste eeuw: een platform waarop iedereen zijn mening kan geven, hoe controversieel, onwelgevallig of tegendraads dan ook. Het debat moet daarom zowel online als offline in alle vrijheid kunnen worden gevoerd, zonder inmenging van enig openbaar gezag en zonder inachtneming van grenzen. Dit is in artikel 11 van het Handvest van de grondrechten van de Europese Unie bepaald en vormt een fundamenteel uitgangspunt dat in dit huis altijd moet worden geëerbiedigd.

We moeten illegale inhoud, kinderporno en aansporing tot geweld bestrijden, maar de vrijheid van meningsuiting beschermen. De enige filterfunctie in het onmetelijk grote spectrum van meningen moet niet worden bepaald door de EU of big tech-oligarchen met een politieke agenda, maar door de kracht van het openbare debat zelf.


  Márton Gyöngyösi (NI). – Madam President, while the internet widened the scope of social dialogue and freedom of speech, the past decade revealed the unfortunate truth that the internet also grants unlimited space for extremist ideologies. It also showed that dangerous groups and echo chambers can be formed not only in the Third World with deep social divisions, but also in the United States and elsewhere in the developed world.

Populists are quick to exploit the advantages offered by social media, and where they have a grip on power they already started speaking about regulating it themselves. In my native Hungary, the Orbán government is already drafting national legislation to regulate social media and the internet. We have no doubt about their real intentions: provide legal protection for the next smear campaign and sabotage the work of the opposition.

Self-regulation is no longer sufficient. It requires action internationally and simultaneously in fighting fake news and shaping public democratic discourse. It is high time to create a European public media service.


  Sven Simon (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! Meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren! Soziale Medien sind Chance und Gefahr für die Demokratie zugleich. Wenn wir über demokratische Kontrolle der sozialen Medien und den Schutz der Grundrechte sprechen, dann geht es um den Kern unserer liberalen Demokratie. Demokratie, Rechtsstaatlichkeit, aber vor allen Dingen auch individuell einklagbare Grundrechte – das ist unsere europäische Identität.

Das Grundrecht auf Meinungsäußerung ist dabei von ganz elementarer Bedeutung. Wenn wir es schützen wollen und gleichzeitig aber Fake News bekämpfen, dann müssen wir zuallererst bei uns selbst anfangen, und wenn wir selbst kommunizieren, keine falschen Tatsachen im politischen Raum verbreiten.

Wenn wir zum Beispiel bei internationalen Handelsabkommen über das Mercosur-Abkommen reden, müssen wir bei den Fakten bleiben. Wenn wir über die Impfpolitik in Europa sprechen und über das, was in dem Vertrag zum Beispiel mit AstraZeneca steht, müssen die Organe der Europäischen Union bei der Wahrheit und bei den Fakten bleiben. Nur dann erhalten wir Vertrauen und Glaubwürdigkeit.

Ich freue mich darüber, dass wir uns in dieser Debatte einig sind, dass die Einschränkung der und Eingriffe in die Meinungsfreiheit nur entlang der Gesetze erfolgen dürfen und wir das nicht Privaten überlassen dürfen in Europa und in der Welt.


  Paul Tang (S&D). – Madam President, one minute, for one point.

Our societies are too dependent on a few big social media platforms, most notably Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. They determine what we see and when, not based on journalistic standards, but on popularity, anything that keeps our attention. In traditional media we have nurtured editorial independence and diversity, leading to a variety of newspapers and broadcast companies. Indeed, this is essential for an informed, balanced, free public debate, and social media should be no exception.

So we need to strengthen the digital service sector in the Digital Markets Act, break with the deliberate business model of personalised ads, through which Facebook and Google cornered the market much to the detriment of ordinary publishers and assure access entry.

We don’t need less Facebook, we need more Facebooks, we need a variety of Facebooks, we need diversity.


  Moritz Körner (Renew). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen, liebe Kollegen! Wir alle waren erschreckt über die Bilder vom Kapitol. Aber wir alle erinnern uns auch an diesen jungen Senator, der auch mit sozialen Medien zum ersten schwarzen Präsidenten geworden ist. Sowohl Trump als auch Obama sind mit Hilfe von sozialen Medien gewählt worden.

Es sind nicht soziale Medien, die gut oder schlecht sind. Es ist, was wir damit machen, welche Regeln wir ihnen geben. Statt Meinungsfreiheit durch Upload-Filter einzuschränken, sollten wir mehr Transparenz über Algorithmen bekommen und Usern mehr Möglichkeiten geben. Statt privaten Firmen die Entscheidung zu geben, was illegal ist, müssen das auch weiterhin Gerichte entscheiden und brauchen wir bessere Kooperation mit Behörden.

Wir werden auch weiterhin erleben müssen, dass Menschen Unsinn im Internet schreiben. Aber wir sollten unsere Demokratien besser gegen Desinformationskampagnen von außen schützen.

Mehr Meinungsfreiheit ist die Möglichkeit, mit der wir umgehen müssen – mit klugen Regeln –, nicht, indem wir sie einschränken. Das muss der europäische Weg sein für die Zukunft.


  Roman Haider (ID). – Frau Präsident! Ja, ich fühle mich immer an George Orwell erinnert, wenn es in der EU um Meinungsfreiheit und die neuen Medien geht.

Sie sagen zwar „Desinformation“, Sie meinen aber in Wahrheit politisch unliebsame Meinungen. Sie sagen zwar „Medienpluralismus“, aber Sie meinen regierungstreue Medien. Und wenn Sie von „Zivilgesellschaft“ sprechen, dann reden Sie ausschließlich von Ihnen politisch opportunen Gruppen. Und Engagement der Bürger ist auch nur so lange erwünscht, solange es nicht vom vorgegebenen Kurs abweicht.

Und gerade jetzt, wo das Versagen der EU für alle Bürger offensichtlich ist, gerade jetzt wollen Sie natürlich unbedingt gegen sogenannte Desinformation vorgehen. Sonst könnten sich die Bürger ja unliebsame Fragen stellen, zum Beispiel, warum zwar Billionen von Euro umverteilt werden, aber überhaupt kein Geld für wirksame Impfstoffe da ist. Oder warum die EU mitten in der Wirtschaftskrise die eigene Industrie durch den Green Deal zerstören will. Oder warum die EU die Schleusen für Migranten öffnen will. Da muss natürlich der Deckel draufgehalten werden. Deswegen gibt es diesen Aktionsplan!

Ihre Politik gefährdet nicht nur die Gesundheit der Bürger, Ihre Politik gefährdet nicht nur die Arbeitsplätze der Bürger, Ihre Politik gefährdet vor allem die Freiheit der Bürger!


  Sergey Lagodinsky (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin! Was wir seit Jahren erleben, ist eine Veränderung unseres öffentlichen Diskursraums. Diese Veränderungen sind vielfältig – wir haben es gehört.

Da sind die Chancen und da sind die Risiken. Wir sind mitten in einem Zielkonflikt an der Ordnungsfrage des digitalen Zeitalters. Das ist ein Konflikt zwischen Freiheit, die befähigt, und Freiheit, die beleidigt, entmündigt und erniedrigt. Nach Lösungen, danach suchen wir. Aber die schlimmste Lösung, die es geben kann, ist, wenn wir es privaten Anbietern überlassen, darüber Entscheidungen zu fällen. Wir mögen uns darüber freuen, dass Hass und Hetze von Trump jetzt verstummt sind. Aber ich kann mich nicht darüber freuen, dass diese Entscheidung durch ein Privatunternehmen getroffen wurde. Heute Meinungsfreiheit an – morgen Meinungsfreiheit aus.

Deswegen müssen wir mindestens drei Entscheidungen treffen. Erstens: Online-Monopole müssen zerschlagen werden. Zweitens: Lösungsentscheidungen in diesem Konflikt zwischen Freiheit und Freiheit müssen demokratisch legitimiert bleiben. Und: Automatisierung solcher Veranstaltungen darf nicht sein. Weder KI noch das große Geld darf über unsere Grundrechte entscheiden.


  Hermann Tertsch (ECR). – Señora presidente, alarma ahora como aumentan los parecidos entre las democracias liberales y los Estados totalitarios.

A las restricciones de derechos y libertades con la pandemia se suman los ataques a la libertad de expresión en las redes. La supuesta moderación y verificación es ya censura sin vergüenza. Víctima de todo es el que disiente del consenso socialdemócrata del establishment. Le ha pasado al presidente Trump y le ha pasado a mi partido, cuya cuenta de Twitter ha sido ignominiosamente cerrada un día antes de que empezara la campaña de las elecciones catalanas.

Las proveedoras de servicios de internet deben elegir: o son neutrales y no responsables del contenido, o son medios de comunicación con línea política y responden penalmente por lo que publican, como todo medio.

Es inaceptable que los europeos reciban sin cortapisas propaganda mentirosa del criminal de Maduro, de la dictadura iraní, pero se cierren cuentas a Vox, a sus seguidores o a periodistas por motivos ideológicos. No pueden tolerarse estos ataques a la libertad y a la democracia por compañías privadas extranjeras. Y la jurisdicción la tienen que tener las naciones para defender sus libertades fundamentales.


  Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó (NI). – Madam President, it has become fashionable to say that social media must be controlled. However, one wonders who will surveil the surveiller. Censorship in social media is a slippery slope and, except in very exceptional cases, it is not justified.

But let me be clear: opinion must be free, but fascism is not an opinion. It is a crime.

But who can assure us that the rules created today will not be used against minorities tomorrow? Social media has been an area for debate and free speech that a lot of the time has called into question the official narratives that big economic and political powers have tried to impose on us.

That is real progress for all of our citizens, who can express themselves without constraints. With social media the flow of ideas runs freer than ever. Free speech is a human right and we must defend it as such.


  Milan Zver (PPE). – Gospa predsedujoča, socialna ali družabna omrežja so postala platforma, kjer se odvija ne samo zasebna, ampak tudi javna govorica. Nedavna odločitev zasebne spletne platforme, da odstrani profil demokratično izvoljenega predsednika, je nevaren precedens.

Nihče, niti zasebni lastniki spletnih platform, ne smejo nikomur odvzeti pravico do izražanja. To se lahko zgodi le v izjemnih okoliščinah na temelju demokratično sprejetega zakona. Twitter je s formalnega vidika lahko zasebna lastnina, po svoji funkciji pa je globoko družbena entiteta.

Zato ima svoboda izražanja v demokratični družbi, ki temelji na vladavini prava, esencialno in nezamenljivo vrednost. Svoboda političnega govora je lakmusov papir za stanje demokracije v družbi.

Pred približno 2400 leti so Diogena vprašali, kaj je najlepše v življenju. Odgovoril je, da svoboda govora. Zaradi besede je za njim umrlo in trpelo ogromno svobodomiselnih ljudi. Naj nam nove IKT tehnologije ne krčijo prostora svobode, ampak nasprotno, naj ga širijo.

Če bomo v EU že urejali to zadevo, moramo predvsem omogočiti enakopraven dostop do univerzalnih komunikacijskih sredstev, storitev, in predvsem jasno odgovornost zasebnih digitalnih velikanov, ki upravljajo družbena omrežja.


  Łukasz Kohut (S&D). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Debatujemy dziś o demokratycznej kontroli mediów społecznościowych. A co jeżeli demokracji już nie ma? Jeżeli rządowa autorytarna propaganda zagarnia coraz to nowe kanały komunikacji i taktyką salami odcina kolejne obszary wolności?

W Polsce od rana trwa protest niezależnych mediów. Rząd PiS, pod płaszczykiem pandemii, chce je obciążyć kolejnym podatkiem, jednocześnie dosypując dwa miliardy złotych mediom państwowym rocznie. Trwa domykanie systemu autorytarnego. Trwa polskie tango ze społeczeństwem obywatelskim i instytucjami międzynarodowymi. Polska na oczach Europy staje się państwem niedemokratycznym. Dokładnie tak jak Węgry. Najpierw przyszli po sędziów, później przyszli po kobiety, a teraz przyszli po niezależnych dziennikarzy.

Więc ja z tego miejsca, z serca europejskiej demokracji, mówię zdecydowanie: nie możemy pozwolić, żeby autokraci zniweczyli piękną historię integracji europejskiej. Tylko trzeba działać – i to jak najszybciej. Trzeba zawiesić głos autokratycznych rządów Polski i Węgier w Radzie Europejskiej, odebrać im ten głos. Nie ma już na co czekać.


  Ramona Strugariu (Renew). – Madam President, increasing responsibility and transparency on social media platforms must be at the core of our strategy for protecting fundamental rights and democracy in the digital sphere.

Self-regulation has proved not enough, obviously. However, over-regulating is also not a solution. Just as rules apply for the democratic debate offline, they need to be adapted for the digital age. The balance lies in refraining from censorship and in establishing clear and predictable lines so that we do not suppress democracy in our attempt to protect it.

Transparency is fundamental. As users, we need to be aware of who pays for what, why we see a certain content, whether that content was altered, who and what is behind what we see online. We need to follow the money, especially when it comes to political advertising.

Last but not least, education is fundamental. We must not and cannot build ministries of truth, but we can educate people so that they understand that such ministries actually do not exist.


  Gilles Lebreton (ID). – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Ministre, Madame la Commissaire, les plateformes de médias sociaux comme Facebook ou Twitter se sont arrogé le pouvoir exorbitant de réguler la liberté d’expression sur Internet. Elles en profitent pour imposer la loi de faire du conformisme en censurant impitoyablement toutes les idées qui heurtent, choquent ou inquiètent, en violation de l’arrêt Handyside de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme qui les protège expressément. Leur domination est devenue telle qu’elles ont même coupé les comptes du président américain, pourtant réputé l’homme le plus puissant du monde.

Cette oppression et cette censure n’ont que trop duré. Les États européens et l’Union européenne, qui n’est rien d’autre que leur délégataire, doivent reprendre le contrôle de la situation.

Conformément à la résolution du 20 octobre 2020 du Parlement européen, je demande le renforcement du contrôle public sur ces plateformes afin de garantir la liberté d’expression. Je demande en outre que chaque décision de supprimer un contenu illégal ne puisse être prise en dernier ressort que par un pouvoir judiciaire national indépendant et non par une entité commerciale.


  Kim Van Sparrentak (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, whether you are a political activist, drag queen or the President of the United States, if we let private companies like Twitter and Facebook decide if you can speak freely, we are endangering our democratic society.

These same big corporations who have profited for years from the large—scale spread of misinformation are now acting as referees of our public debates. Let me be clear: incentivising platforms to delete even more is not the solution. This only reinforces their current power over our free speech. We have to tackle the root causes.

A small number of very large and powerful platforms are controlling our public debate and amplifying fake news and hate on a large scale, specifically targeting certain people for profit. Let’s be ambitious in tackling this in the DSA and DMA. Who can say what, where and when should not be up to CEOs and shareholders. Not private companies but our democratic laws should determine the boundaries of our freedoms. Not big tech but judges should decide what is illegal or not.

We need to take the power over our freedom of expression out of the hands of private companies and place it firmly back in the hands of the people and our democratic institutions.


  Angel Dzhambazki (ECR). – Madam President, please show some mercy. Please save us some hypocrisy. Please spare us some crocodile tears on the freedom of speech.

To most Europeans with a little common sense, one thing is crystal clear: this House does not care about free speech.

We did not see a reaction from the European Parliament when tech giants removed President Trump from their networks in January. We did not see a reaction when Parler was removed from all major app stores. We did not see a reaction when Vox activists were brutally attacked in Barcelona last weekend.

Yes, there is pure censorship now in Europe: in Spain, against the only right-wing, traditional, national, conservative political party – Vox. This is provided by Twitter, for example.

We didn’t see a reaction when this House promoted fake news about so-called ‘LGBTI—free zones’ in Poland. On the contrary, this European Parliament promoted such false information.

The fact of the matter is that this House does not permit opposing views which attack the liberal consensus. The new politburo will not tolerate diverging opinions which don’t accept the agenda of the day. The liberal establishment does not accept views against illegal migration, against NGOs helping human trafficking in the Mediterranean Sea, against the LGBTI ideology and propaganda, or against federalism.

The USSR had a one-party system. This European Parliament has a multi-party system, where political parties don’t really matter. Nothing. The majority of this House takes the same stance on the issues I mentioned.

But do not worry, please. Freedom will always find a way, and liberty will always win. You cannot shut us down and we will not be silenced.


  Ιωάννης Λαγός (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, είμαι εκλεγμένος ευρωβουλευτής όπως και όλοι εσείς εδώ. Έχουμε πάρει χιλιάδες ψήφους ο καθένας στην πατρίδα μας για να εκπροσωπήσουμε αυτά τα οποία πιστεύουμε και αυτά για τα οποία ο κόσμος μας έστειλε εδώ. Πόσο δημοκρατικό, λοιπόν, είναι το ότι κάποιος άνθρωπος, τον οποίον δεν γνωρίζουμε καν —ένας υπάλληλος μιας ιδιωτικής εταιρείας, μπορεί να μας στερεί το δικαίωμα λόγου; Ότι μπορεί να μας στερήσει αυτό για το οποίο έχουμε ψηφιστεί και για το οποίο είμαστε εδώ —την εκπροσώπηση δηλαδή των ιδεών μας; Πόσο δημοκρατικό είναι το ότι εγώ προσωπικά —και υπάρχουν αποδείξεις για ό,τι σας λέω— έχω τιμωρηθεί τόσες φορές από το Facebook, το YouTube, το Twitter και από οπουδήποτε άλλου για ομιλίες τις οποίες έχω κάνει μέσα στην Ευρωβουλή, στις οποίες εκφράζω αυτά για τα οποία έχω ψηφιστεί; Πόσο δημοκρατικό είναι και γιατί φοβάται η δημοκρατία την αντίθετη άποψη, όταν εγώ έχω έρθει εδώ πέρα για να δηλώσω ότι είμαι υπερήφανος Έλληνας, Χριστιανός, που μάχομαι για τα δικαιώματα όλων όσων με ψήφισαν; Πού είναι η δημοκρατία άραγε σε όλα αυτά; Αν η δημοκρατία έχει αρχίσει και φοβάται τόσο πολύ την αντίθετη άποψη, τότε πολύ φοβάμαι ότι δεν είναι δημοκρατία αλλά πλησιάζει πολύ στην τυραννία.


  Vladimír Bilčík (PPE). – Madam President, online media platforms have become some of the most powerful private social actors in history. The situation is unprecedented. In the past, their lack of action has repeatedly led to real world violence and recently they’ve suddenly silenced a democratically—elected president.

The bottom line is that the freedom of speech of democratically—elected representatives, just like the uncontrolled spread of manipulative disinformation, cannot be just a private matter for global companies. Decisions on these issues need democratic scrutiny and regulatory oversight. It is therefore one of the key regulatory challenges of our era to draft a new set of public rules to respond to the power and potential dangers of social media.

We need more ambition than is currently envisaged in the recently proposed Digital Services Act, especially when it comes to the responsibility and transparency of online platforms in the fight against hoaxes. The DSA is a much—needed step in the right direction, but we must do more to slow down the pervasive spread of manipulative and harmful content online.

We will never be able to put an end to all deceiving lies, but we are surely able to give truth, facts, credible science and democracy a fighting chance in a digital space. I am convinced that Europe and this House must lead these efforts on behalf of all European citizens, who deserve equal protection online across all Member States.


  Brando Benifei (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, quanto è avvenuto negli Stati Uniti negli ultimi mesi dimostra una volta di più quanto il potere dei social media sia diventato totalizzante, tanto da rendere possibile oscurare il Presidente. Un potere che chiama in causa valori fondanti delle nostre società: democrazia, pluralismo, libertà di espressione e privacy.

Tutto questo è la conseguenza di anni di pratiche che hanno favorito manipolazioni degli utenti per ragioni di profitto, mettendo in evidenza contenuti in base alle visualizzazioni, e rinforzando i pregiudizi di ciascuno grazie a una proliferazione estrema tramite i dati.

Il diritto a vedere espansa una propria espressione attraverso il pagamento per avere più visibilità dei propri contenuti è un falso diritto. E abbiamo visto scandali come quello di Cambridge Analytica. E allora non è più rimandabile. Rispettando la neutralità della rete e la libertà di espressione dobbiamo togliere ai social network il potere assoluto. Bisogna porre un argine alle pratiche deleterie e serve quindi una nuova costituzione in ambito digitale che trova nelle proposte del regolamento sui servizi e i mercati digitali un fondamentale tassello su cui costruire.


  Nicola Beer (Renew). – Frau Präsidentin, sehr geehrte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die Meinungsfreiheit ist die Basis unserer Demokratie. Die Ausübung von Meinungsfreiheit ist wesentlich für die politische Willensbildung und faire und freie Wahlen.

Wir leben in einer medialen Welt, in der die politische Willensbildung digital stattfindet. Solange in dieser digitalen Welt das Äußern von Meinungen auf der Grundlage von Freiheitsrechten garantiert wird, sollten wir uns als Politik nicht weiter einmischen. Aber die Realität, sie ist mittlerweile eine andere: Die Meinungsfreiheit auf Social-Media-Plattformen steht unter Beschuss.

Einige Oligopole von Social-Media-Plattformen setzen selbst in ihren AGB die Regeln, wie Willensbildung organisiert wird. Ich denke nicht nur an den Trump-Account; ich denke an die vielen Accounts, die entsprechend gesperrt wurden, von Usern, denen es fast unmöglich gemacht wird, Sperren, Blockaden, greylisting, shadow banning in irgendeiner Weise nachzuvollziehen und sich gegen diese Praktiken zu wehren.

Wir müssen als Europäisches Parlament beim anstehenden Digital Markets Act und beim Digital Services Act die Regeln setzen, wie Meinungsfreiheit auf Social-Media-Plattformen entsprechend für unsere Bürger garantiert wird, denn es handelt sich um die Einschränkung von bürgerlichen Freiheiten. Und die Entscheidung, welche Freiheiten eingeschränkt werden, diese Entscheidung gehört ins Parlament!


  Susanna Ceccardi (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, i cittadini di tutto il mondo negli ultimi anni hanno dato voce ai propri pensieri e riflessioni attraverso i social, fantastici veicoli di libertà, spesso censurati e resi inaccessibili dalle dittature liberticide del mondo.

Ma, negli ultimi tempi, da parte di queste multinazionali della comunicazione c'è una tendenza molto preoccupante. Milioni di cittadini sono censurati ogni giorno da funzionari che dietro a una scrivania decidono cosa sia giusto o meno pensare. È giusto che società di fatto in regime di monopolio detengano questo enorme potere? Che cos'è un uomo libero se non la sua parola e il suo pensiero? Chi è che ha il diritto di giudicare che cosa sia giusto o sbagliato? I giudici dentro ai tribunali o i signori di Facebook e Twitter che hanno inventato applicazioni di successo?

L'elemento più inquietante è che gli oligopoli digitali si stanno appropriando di una vera e propria funzione pubblica, cioè quella di decidere cosa sia tollerabile o meno nel dibattito. Nello Stato di diritto è la legge che decide che cosa sia giusto o sbagliato, che cosa sia punibile o passibile di censura. Queste multinazionali non soltanto si ritengono al di sopra della legge, ma anche al di sopra della tassazione europea e nazionale.

Piccoli imprenditori e partite IVA in questo momento sono tartassati dalla crisi e dal fisco, e magari persino censurati per le loro idee sui social. I liberi cittadini che vogliono avere la possibilità di esprimersi chiedono di poter esercitare questo inviolabile diritto liberamente, anche su Internet. La trasparenza e la libertà sono due valori prima di tutto europei: dimostriamolo, anche attraverso una corretta democrazia digitale.




  Rasmus Andresen (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin! „I thought I was going to die“. Mit diesen Worten beschreibt die US-Kongressabgeordnete Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ihre Ängste während des terroristischen Anschlags auf das US-Kapitol.

Es wäre jetzt zu einfach zu behaupten, dass Social-Media-Plattformen die alleinige Verantwortung für die Spaltung unserer Gesellschaften tragen. Aber zur Wahrheit gehört auch, dass durch Geschäftsmodelle von Big-Tech-Unternehmen wie Facebook der Nährboden für Hass und Gewalt gelegt wird. Wir haben die Kontrolle über Big Tech verloren, und es wird höchste Zeit, sie zurückzuholen.

In einer Demokratie müssen Parlamente die Regeln bestimmen, nicht große Digitalkonzerne. Google hat in der EU einen Marktanteil von über 90 %. Unsere Demokratie und unser Wirtschaftssystem sind kaputt, wenn einige wenige Konzerne unsere Kommunikation und die Märkte dominieren. Die Rechte der Verbraucherinnen und Verbraucher werden geschwächt und kleine Unternehmen sterben.

Wir müssen die Geschäftsmodelle von Big Tech demokratisieren und dürfen auch vor der Aufspaltung großer Konzerne nicht zurückschrecken. Lassen Sie uns jetzt damit anfangen.


  Dace Melbārde (ECR). – Priekšsēdētājas kundze! Kolēģi! Es uzskatu, ka Eiropas Savienības līmenī ir jārada mehānisms, kas nepieļauj ne globālajām platformām, ne autoritārām valstīm, ne trešo valstu ietekmes aģentiem manipulēt ar mūsu ziņu saturu un tādējādi arī ar politiskajiem lēmumiem un sabiedrības rīcībām, bet tomēr ar ierobežojumiem šeit nepietiek.

Pirmkārt, jāparedz labvēlīgus nosacījumus uzticamu mediju attīstībai digitālajā vidē, lai lietotājiem primāri ir pieejams kvalitatīvs mediju saturs, un šeit Eiropas Savienībai ir vairāk jāinvestē neatkarīgos medijos un to digitalizācijā.

Otrkārt, platformām ir jāuzliek stingri un tiesiski regulēti pienākumi vērsties pret ļaunprātīgu un mērķtiecīgi organizētu rīcību. “Kremļa troļļiem” nedrīkst būt vieta demokrātiskā informācijas telpā.

Un, treškārt, globālajām platformām ir jāgarantē līdzvērtīga drošība lietotājiem visu Eiropas Savienības dalībvalstu valodās, nevis tikai lielo valodu pārstāvjiem. Tieši mazākas informācijas telpas kā, piemēram, Baltijas valstis, Kremlis ir definējis kā savu īpašo interešu zonu.


  Isabel Wiseler-Lima (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, l’équilibre est ce qui doit caractériser une société démocratique. Trouver l’équilibre entre maintenir la liberté et combattre les dérives est le défi en matière de médias sociaux.

Les médias sociaux ont été un formidable atout pour la société civile – et donc pour la démocratie. Ils ont permis de divulguer la vérité, ils ont permis des rassemblements de citoyens engagés, ils permettent à tout un chacun d’exprimer librement ses pensées et d’avoir le cas échéant un auditoir.

Malheureusement, les dangers des médias sociaux (sans même parler des activités criminelles) sont tout aussi conséquents, et les dégâts causés à la démocratie sont catastrophiques.

En effet, les médias sociaux constituent également une tribune pour les haines de toutes sortes, pour la désinformation la plus totale et pour les théories complotistes, et tout ceci le plus souvent dans l’impunité la plus complète.

La nécessité de légiférer s’impose. Or, nos pouvoirs publics sont trop lents. On peut critiquer la fermeture du compte Twitter de Donald Trump par la plateforme, mais la solution était-elle de le laisser ouvert?

Il faut tenir compte des dangers encourus par la démocratie. Trop souvent, sous couvert de «démocratie», la démocratie se montre faible. J’estime qu’il est du devoir de la démocratie de se défendre. Ma liberté s’arrête là où commence la liberté de l’autre. Les libertés en démocratie s’arrêtent là où la démocratie est en danger.

Le vide laissé par le pouvoir politique – démocratiquement élu – est inacceptable. La responsabilité ne peut être laissée aux plateformes. À nous de poser les limites, de légiférer, et vite!


  Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D). – Arvoisa puhemies, kollegat, alustoitunut, avoin internet on päätynyt muutaman yrityksen käsiin. Sosiaalista mediaa pyörittävillä algoritmeilla voi vaikuttaa vaalituloksiin ja kärjistää väkivaltaisiin vastakkainasetteluihin.

Valeuutisilla voi horjuttaa yhteiskuntia. Ennen kuin seuraava Case Capitol tapahtuu, emme halua joutua ihmettelemään, kenen vastuu on poistaa valeuutisia tai sulkea tili. Vastaus ei voi olla, ei kenenkään vastuulla.

Demokraattisesti valittujen päättäjien vastuulla on, että lainsäädäntö, myös alustoille, on ajan tasalla. EU:n on suojeltava kansalaisten perusoikeuksia, turvallisuutta käyttää sosiaalisia medioita myös. Läpinäkyvyyttä ja auditoinnin mahdollisuutta on edellytettävä. Emme voi luottaa tai puuttua, jos emme tiedä, miten algoritmien suunnittelu on tehty. Datan liikkuessa globaalisti on haettava yhteistyötä maiden kanssa, jotka jakavat arvomme YK:ssa ja OECD:ssä ja EU ja Yhdysvallat voivat toimia yhdessä. On toimittava rohkeasti ja nopeasti, sillä demokratian ja oikeusvaltionkin voi menettää.


  Anna Júlia Donáth (Renew). – Tisztelt Elnök Asszony! Képviselőtársaim! Örülök, hogy az Európai Unió is felismerte, hogy szabályozni kell a nagy techcégeket. A probléma csak az, hogy az olyan autokrata vezetőknek is az eszébe jutott, akik nem az emberek érdekeit, csak a saját hatalmuk megszilárdítása miatt akarják ugyanezt megtenni. A lengyel után a magyar kormány is bejelentette, hogy szeretné saját fennhatósága alá hajtani a Facebookot. Tényleg hagynánk, hogy egy Orbán Viktor által kinevezett fideszes hatóság mondhassa meg, hogy a magyarok miről és mit posztolhatnak a Facebookon? Mi tényleg hagynánk azt, ismervén Orbán Viktort és az ő a szabad nyilvánossághoz való hozzáállását?

Mert ne legyen kétségünk afelől, hogy a magyar kormánynak az az egyetlen célja, hogy leigázza a magyar nyilvánosság utolsó szeletét is, a közösségi médiát. Képviselőtársaim! Ezért van szükség európai szabályozásra, hogy ezt megakadályozzuk, illetve azért, hogy a technológiai óriás platformokkal szemben a hatalmon lévők helyett a mindennapi emberek érdekében szólaljunk fel. Ideje, hogy igazságos Facebook-törvényt hozzunk, és ideje annak, hogy megakadályozzuk az új cenzúratörvények kialakulását Európában.


  Beata Mazurek (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Facebook zablokował anglojęzyczne konto polskiego Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej, bo ten na swoim profilu zamieścił materiały historyczne dotyczące germanizacji polskich dzieci w czasie II wojny światowej. Drugi przykład z ostatnich dni: Facebook zablokował reklamę postu Lubelskiego Hospicjum dla Dzieci tylko dlatego, że ośmieliło się ono promować opiekę paliatywną dla nieuleczalnie chorych dzieci.

To przykłady bezpodstawnego i bezprawnego blokowania profili i treści zamieszczanych w mediach społecznościowych w Polsce. Czy tak ma wyglądać rozumienie wolności wypowiedzi i wolności wyrażania swoich poglądów przez zagranicznych korporacyjnych gigantów operujących na europejskim rynku cyfrowym? Działania te przeczą podstawom demokracji, która w tej Izbie każdorazowo wynoszona jest na sztandary. Czy przykłady, które wymieniłam w jakimś stopniu miały charakter bezprawny bądź nosiły znamiona czynu zabronionego? Absolutnie nie.

Nie akceptujemy tego typu zachowań. Będziemy twardo bronić podstawowego prawa, jakim jest prawo do wolności wypowiedzi. Instytucje europejskie muszą być silne wobec silnych i skutecznie chronić swoich obywateli tam, gdzie oni sami bronić się nie mogą.


  Arba Kokalari (PPE). – Fru talman! Efter den avskyvärda stormningen av den amerikanska kongressen så har nu ljuset riktats mot de sociala mediernas roll i vårt samhälle. Jag tror att vi alla kan vara överens. De sociala medierna har blivit helt centrala kanaler för vårt demokratiska samtal och yttrandefriheten på nätet.

Bristen på tydliga spelregler och lagar gör att plattformarna i dag tar bort innehåll på godtyckliga grunder. Många undrar nu: Varför tar Facebook bort mina inlägg och mitt konto utan förklaring, och jag har ingen att ringa? Varför låter plattformarna hot, barnporr och olagliga produkter flöda fritt på nätet? Som min partigruppsförhandlare för den nya internetlagen Digital Services Act kommer jag jobba för att skapa ordning i den här digitala vilda västern som råder i dag. Då behöver det bli tydligt att det som är olagligt offline måste också vara olagligt online, och att det ska då bort från sociala medier.

Vi behöver säkerställa rättvis konkurrens som främjar innovation och entreprenörskap, och främjar rätten att få uttrycka sin åsikt även online. Det måste garanteras. För, om vi ska vara helt ärliga, ökad censur av lagligt innehåll gynnar inte demokratin utan ökar snarare det som vi försöker motverka här: konspirationsteorier och ökad polarisering.


  Alex Agius Saliba (S&D). – Sinjura President, il-media llum saret indispensabbli. Kumpaniji bħal Facebook, illum, saru utilitajiet li ma ngħaddux mingħajrhom fid-dinja moderna. Utilitajiet li permezz tagħhom iċ-ċittadini tagħna qegħdin jiksbu l-informazzjoni, qegħdin jaħdmu u kif ukoll qegħdin jagħmlu x-xirjiet tagħhom.

Però waħda mill-aspetti wkoll illi ħarġet b'mod ċar waqt il-pandemija kien ir-rwol ċentrali illi l-media soċjali tilgħab fil-ħajja tagħna. Però fl-istess ħin il-media soċjali qiegħda tpoġġi quddiemna wkoll perikli ġodda. Dan hekk kif illum qed tilgħab ir-rwol kruċjali fil-mod kif l-informazzjoni qiegħda tasal għand iċ-ċittadini tagħna u għaldaqstant qiegħda taffettwa l-imġiba, id-deċiżjonijiet u l-azzjonijiet illi kull wieħed u waħda minnha jieħu madwar id-dinja.

Il-pressjoni politika kull ma jmur qiegħda tiżdied. In-nies qegħdin jistaqsu dwar ir-rwol, il-poteri estremi u l-kontroll taċ-ċensura illi dawn il-kumpaniji għandhom. Huwa inkwetanti illi quddiem għajnejna qegħdin naraw ta' kuljum prattiċi diżonesti, intrużjonijiet fil-ħajja privata tagħna u abbuż fl-użu tad-data personali tagħna, illi qegħdin jintużaw għall-benefiċċju ta' ftit kumpaniji.

Qegħdin jinħolqu perikli għas-soċjetà meta dawn qegħdin jaġixxu b'mod irresponsabbli, kemm etiku kif ukoll soċjali. Huwa allarmanti li dawn qegħdin jiddeċiedu fuq kull aspett tal-ħajja tagħna. Huwa inaċċettabbli li dawn qegħdin jispiċċaw jiddettaw huma stess il-qafas regolatorju illi fih huma jridu jaħdmu. Il-qafas legali preżenti mhuwiex adegwat. Mhuwiex adegwat sabiex nirrispondu għall-isfidi li dawn il-kumpaniji qegħdin joħolqu ta' kuljum. L-iskrutinju demokratiku tal-media soċjali u l-protezzjoni tad-drittijiet fundamentali tagħna huwa neċessità importanti.

Għalhekk għandna bżonn qafas regolatorju ġust u trasparenti sabiex insaħħu d-demokrazija u s-saltna tad-dritt, nissalvagwardjaw l-interessi pubbliċi u nipproteġu d-drittijiet u l-libertajiet fundamentali tagħna. Id-DSA u d-DMA huma opportunitajiet tad-deheb sabiex nagħmlu dan.


  Sandro Gozi (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, les médias sociaux offrent d’énormes possibilités, et en même temps ils posent de grands défis à nos démocraties.

Pendant longtemps, les plateformes se sont cachées derrière la phrase «Nous ne sommes pas des éditeurs, nous ne filtrons pas les contenus, nous sommes des espaces libres d’accès pour le public». Les récentes décisions prises d’interdire les leaders Khamenei et Trump ont démantelé cet alibi. Elles ont aussi démontré les dangers que pourraient représenter les plateformes si elles ne sont pas réglementées. Internet offre des forums ouverts permettant la liberté d’expression, mais ces forums doivent être sûrs.

Malheureusement, les plateformes sont souvent utilisées pour promouvoir la violence: physique, verbale, politique. La neutralité du web ne signifie pas que nous devons rester neutres face à l’illégalité, à la violence et aux ingérences étrangères dans nos démocraties. Ce sont les autorités démocratiques qui doivent décider des règles de notre dialogue civil et c’est un défi pour lequel l’Europe se doit d’être à la hauteur.


  Stelios Kympouropoulos (PPE). – Madam President, social media have transformed our lives and revolutionised the way we conduct politics. But they have also created challenges related to disinformation, the integrity of our elections and several fundamental rights, to name just a few.

As proven over the last year, platforms – and in particular the so-called ‘gatekeepers’ – can do much more to facilitate a healthy democratic debate through content moderation. Proactive measures such as labelling misleading or unfounded posts online proved to be very helpful.

But at the same time we should be mindful of striking a balance between safeguarding the civic debate and protecting fundamental rights such as the freedom of expression. We need to preserve the prohibition of imposing a general monitoring obligation and reconsider the liability exemptions for active platforms while providing for safeguards such as adequate oversight and judicial redress mechanisms.

Finally, transparency over algorithmic decision-making will be key. As a society, we need to have a better understanding of the functioning of social media algorithms. In this regard, platforms should provide researchers with further access to data, in order to examine potential systemic risks and the socio-economic harm they may cause.


  Morten Løkkegaard (Renew). – Fru Formand! De sociale medier er jo i grunden en velsignelse for vores demokratier, men desværre er det også i dag tydeligt, at de er blevet en kæmpe udfordring. Hver dag ser vi eksempler på, at ulovlige varer til børn bliver solgt på disse sociale platforme, uden at der gribes ind, og europæere angribes af desinformation, et bevidst forsøg på at forvrænge den demokratiske debat. Det skaber en ødelæggende polarisering, der nedbryder vores demokrati og skaber unødige fjendebilleder. Sidst så vi det jo, da stormen på Capital skræmte os alle, men samtidig så vi også flere platforme udelukke den daværende amerikanske præsident. Er det så løsningen? Nej det er det selvfølgelig ikke. Vi skal passe enormt meget på, at vi ikke får angrebet retten til ytringer, retten til pressefrihed, retten til at omtale os selv og andre på disse sociale platforme. Det er en mærkesag for os liberale at have ytringsfriheden, og derfor påhviler der os en særlig forpligtelse som liberale til at finde den her balance mellem ytringsfrihed og så det at få skabt orden på nettet. Den særlige forpligtelse skal vi selvfølgelig leve op til.


  Lukas Mandl (PPE). – Sehr geehrte Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Wir sprechen hier letztlich über nichts weniger als unsere Zivilisation und was unsere Zivilisation zusammenhält.

Wir haben aus Europa und in Europa ein Wachsen einer Kultur der Menschenwürde und der Freiheitsrechte erlebt. Wir haben die Aufklärung erlebt. Die Aufklärung hat dazu geführt, dass verstanden wird, dass diese Werte auf jeden Menschen zutreffen und auch zu Meinungsfreiheit, zu Redefreiheit führen. Nur dürfen wir nicht übersehen: Wir haben auch in der Geschichte gesehen, dass diese großen Ideale mit Füßen getreten werden können, ja ausradiert werden können. Das ist auch nirgendwo so passiert wie in Europa. Deshalb müssen wir sehr, sehr behutsam – vorsichtig – mit diesen Fragen umgehen.

Social-Media-Plattformen haben viel Gutes gebracht, aber auch viele Gefahren. Sie führen dazu, dass es einfacher geworden ist, unsere Gesellschaften zu spalten. Von außen unternommene Spaltungsversuche, damit beschäftigen wir uns im Desinformationssonderausschuss, um gegen Desinformationen anzukämpfen. Daran arbeiten wir im Europäischen Parlament, und auch von innen gibt es Spaltungsversuche. Was am Capitol Hill in den Vereinigten Staaten in Washington DC geschehen ist, ist nur eine Spitze des Eisberges dessen, was da alles möglich ist.

Was wir sicherstellen müssen, weil auch der Parlamentarismus zu den Werten unserer Zivilisation gehört, ist, dass es Parlamente sind, die mit Gesetzen Regeln festlegen, und nicht private Unternehmen die Zensur machen können.


  Vlad-Marius Botoş (Renew). – Doamnă președintă, doamnă comisară, doamna secretară de stat, stimați colegi, platformele de socializare au adus un plus la nivel mondial. Comunicarea interpersonală este mai ușoară, distanțele dispar, iar globalizarea a ajuns la nivel uman, individual.

Fără să negăm toate aspectele pozitive pentru societate și pentru indivizi, trebuie să recunoaștem că lipsa reglementărilor a creat, din aceste platforme, câteodată, un pericol pentru democrație și chiar pentru dezvoltarea societății. Nu mai putem accepta ca regulile de comunicare să fie stabilite doar de companii, nu mai putem accepta ca normele etice să fie stabilite la nivel de platforme și, cu siguranță, nu mai putem accepta algoritmii în baza cărora sunt recomandate anumite postări și informații în detrimentul altora.

Înțelegem că este o piață nouă, că este o economie nouă, dar regulile și algoritmii trebuie aprobați altfel: în funcție de criterii etice, de legislație; altfel riscăm ca aceste platforme de socializare să fie și un pericol pentru democrația noastră, așa cum o cunoaștem, și un instrument extrem de valoros în mâinile celor care vor să o destabilizeze.


  Sunčana Glavak (PPE). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, izloženost građana dezinformacijama uključujući zavaravanje ili lažne informacije veliki je izazov za Europu. Borba protiv dezinformacija u doba društvenih medija i mrežnih platformi mora biti koordinirani napor koji uključuje sve relevantne aktere od institucija do društvenih platformi, od novinskih medija do pojedinačnih korisnika. Brojke u posljednjim izvješćima Europske komisije o uklonjenom sadržaju digitalnih platformi govore sljedeće: od siječnja 2020. Google uklonio ili blokirao više od 90 milijuna oglasa u EU-u povezanih s koronavirusom zbog narušavanja pravila oglašavanja, uključujući i dezinformacije o lijekovima. U Hrvatskoj blokirano 12 390 Google oglasa, u Njemačkoj 10 milijuna, u Austriji 9 milijuna. Tijekom studenog platforme Facebook i Instagram u EU-u: uklonjeno 35 tisuća objava zbog dezinformacija koje mogu dovesti do neposredne fizičke štete, sadržaj koji se odnosi na lažne preventivne mjere ili lijekove.

Tanka je linija između slobode govora za koju se zalažemo i koju podržavamo i širenja štetnog sadržaja koji može imati dalekosežne posljedice na naše zdravlje, sigurnost, stabilnost naših društava, ali i na narušavanje demokratskih procesa. Veliki iskorak napravili smo donošenjem paketa o digitalnim uslugama. Društvena interakcija digitalizirala je i prostor politike, no jača i one takozvane obične korisnike da budu mediji i tu moramo pronaći balans. Medijska pismenost, razmisliti o njezinom jačanju, a pitanje je i anonimnost profila. Jasno je da ono što je kažnjivo u stvarnom svijetu mora biti sankcionirano i u digitalnom svijetu.


  Svenja Hahn (Renew). – Frau Präsidentin! Autoritäre Regierungen blocken oder zensieren Social Media.

Plattformen löschen Inhalte nach unklaren Hausregeln oder Forderungen von Regierungen. Egal, ob durch Politik oder AGBs: Sperren brauchen Algorithmen und künstliche Intelligenz, um Inhalte zu erkennen.

Wenn wir über demokratische Regulierung von Social Media reden, müssen wir auch ganz zwingend darüber reden: Welche Tools lassen wir zu und wer darf sie in Händen halten? Die Entscheidung darüber, was legal oder illegal ist, darf nicht auf Unternehmen abgeschoben werden. Upload-Filter und zu starke Löschanreize gefährden freie Meinungsäußerung durch Overblocking.

Künstliche Intelligenz muss Menschen Möglichkeiten geben, statt Freiheiten zu nehmen. Dafür muss ein gesetzlicher Rahmen auf die Anwendung gucken, nicht auf die Technologie an sich. Die geplante Regulierung von Künstlicher Intelligenz muss unsere Grundrechte schützen. Freiheitseinschränkung durch technologischen Fortschritt wäre der größte Rückschritt für unsere Gesellschaft und eine gefährliche Waffe in Händen autoritärer Regime.


  Javier Zarzalejos (PPE). – Señora presidenta, señora secretaria de Estado, señora comisaria, bienvenido sea este debate porque sí, nos preocupa y nos preocupa mucho que pueda ejercerse una censura indebida por las plataformas y nos preocupa el impacto de su poder sobre el ejercicio de la libertad de expresión, que bien sabemos que es la base de la democracia y es la base de un sistema político de libertades.

Les guste o no, las plataformas están reconociendo su responsabilidad sobre los contenidos, también cuando se equivocan y cuando se exceden, y este es un buen punto de partida para su regulación, incluidas las vías de reparación. Tenemos que dotar a las plataformas de instrumentos legales para que puedan llevar a cabo lo que les pedimos: la colaboración y el cumplimiento de obligaciones para detectar, para notificar y para eliminar contenidos ilegales, desde el terrorismo y el abuso sexual a menores hasta la desinformación y los discursos de odio.

Pero la libertad de expresión tiene que ser respetada y defendida como un todo, y creo que es oportuno recordarlo para que la reivindicación de la libertad de expresión no quede secuestrada por los extremismos que están también presentes en esta Cámara, porque estos extremismos, mientras exigen respeto para ellos, acosan a periodistas incómodos, los señalan, impiden su acceso a las conferencias de prensa, organizan campañas de descrédito contra medios de comunicación o directamente promueven boicots para dañar su difusión. Se pueden poner nombres a estas verdaderas violaciones de la libertad de expresión; lo que está claro es que esta doble vara de medir no sirve para un debate como este.


  Klemen Grošelj (Renew). – Gospa predsedujoča, družabna omrežja so v demokraciji priložnost, a tudi tveganje.

Priložnost za aktivne državljane, za izražanje stališč in delovanje znotraj demokratičnega javnega prostora, tveganje zaradi možnosti zlorabe, za širjenje lažnih novic, dezinformacij, teorij zarot, sovražnega govora in skrajnih političnih stališč, ki lahko, kot smo videli v ZDA, privedejo do poskusov nasilnega rušenja demokratične ureditve.

Oziroma so sredstvo, kot kažejo primeri v nekaterih državah članicah, kot so Poljska, Madžarska, na žalost tudi Slovenija, slabitve demokracije, njenih institucij in vzpostavitve neliberalnih demokracij.

Zato je očitno, da tudi družabna omrežja potrebujejo določeno raven regulacije. To ne pomeni uvajanja cenzure in vsesplošnega omejevanja svobode govora, tudi ne, da je odločanje o tem, kaj je primerna uporaba in kaj ne, prepuščeno posameznikovi subjektivni presoji. Kaj šele, da bi o tem odločali interesi lastnikov omrežij.

Potrebujemo jasno opredeljeno regulacijo, oblikovano v okviru utečenih demokratičnih procesov, s čimer ne bomo posegali v prvine omrežij, ki krepijo demokracijo in njen razvoj, a bo hkrati preprečevala njihovo zlorabo za potrebe politične manipulacije in slabitve demokracije.


  Peter Pollák (PPE). – Pani predsedajúca, šírenie hoaxov počas koronakrízy malo reálne dôsledky na zdravie a životy ľudí v celej Európe. Mnohí uverili klamstvám na sociálnych sieťach, že Covid-19 je obyčajná chrípka. Mnohí z nich, bohužiaľ, aj zomreli.

Koronakríza ukázala, akí sme slabí v boji proti klamstvám a dezinformáciám, ako aj v boji proti nenávisti, extrémizmu, agresii, osočovaniu a útokom.

Pred pár týždňami sme boli svedkami, ako americký exprezident zmobilizoval fanatikov práve prostredníctvom sociálnych médií. Je dobré, že napokon mu zablokovali účet.

Napriek tomu, že s tým viacerí súhlasíme, nemôžeme nechať takéto rozhodnutia v rukách majiteľov médií, ktorých hlavným cieľom je zarobiť.

Priznajme si, že obsahy sociálnych médií sa nám absolútne vymkli spod kontroly. Aj keď sa to nepočúva dobre, som presvedčený, že klamstvá a hoaxy o Covide-19 spôsobili smrť mnohým ľuďom v Európe.

V žiadnom prípade nie som za reguláciu slobody sociálnych médií. Musíme však zabrániť šíreniu klamstiev, nenávisti, extrémizmu a dezinformácií.


  Bart Groothuis (Renew). – Madam President, whether you think it’s good or bad that Donald Trump has been banned from social media is not the right political question. The right question is whether the ban of Donald Trump should have been decided by Silicon Valley, or by transparent democratic policies.

We govern ourselves here. We govern our own political sphere, and that means that liberal democracy should set standards for social media companies. Companies should make policies out of those standards, and they should be upheld, not by us, not by companies, and certainly not by governments, but by independent oversight. They should ensure that what is illegal offline is also illegal online. But we have clear evidence that our democratic security is also at stake.

The issues of voting integrity, health crises or national security emergencies can be intentionally undermined both by foreign and domestic actors, and I would like to remind the House that such malicious intent is also illegal offline, and should be online.


  Henna Virkkunen (PPE). – Arvoisa puhemies, sosiaalisen median alustat, kuten Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, ovat tarjonneet hurjasti uusia mahdollisuuksia ihmisten väliseen vuorovaikutukseen ja kanssakäymiseen.

Mitkä ovat ne säännöt, joita näillä alustoilla on noudatettu? Ne ovat perustuneet näiden alustojen omiin kaupallisiin intresseihin. Nyt niiden taloudellinen ja yhteiskunnallinen valta koko maailmassa on kasvanut jo niin suureksi, että näin ei voi enää jatkua. Meidän on tärkeää varmistaa Euroopassa, että ne lainsäädännöt, jotka meillä muutoinkin ovat yhteiskunnassa voimassa, pätevät samalla lailla myös sosiaalisessa mediassa ja internetissä. On tärkeää, että eurooppalaiset arvot, demokratia, sananvapaus ja ihmisoikeudet, toteutuvat myös verkossa niin kuin tässä reaalimaailmassakin. On tärkeää paaluttaa nämä myös tarkemmin lainsäädäntöön ja tätä työtä ollaan parhaillaan tekemässä.

Samaan aikaan on tärkeää muistaa se, että kun haluamme torjua alustoilla rehottavaa disinformaatiota, propagandaa, valeuutisia, kaikkein tärkein tapa on edelleen se, että investoimme ihmisten osaamiseen. Hyvä lukutaito, hyvät digitaaliset taidot, laadukas ja vapaa media ovat parhaita tapoja ja tehokkaimpia tapoja myös torjua valeuutisia, propagandaa ja disinformaatiota. Eli samaan aikaan, kun selkeästi asetamme internetiin säännöt, että se mikä on laitonta muutoinkin yhteiskunnissa Euroopassa, on laitonta myös internetissä, meidän on myös tuettava ihmisten osaamista ja digitaalisia taitoja.


  Eugen Tomac (PPE). – Doamnă președintă, doamnă comisară, doamnă secretară de stat, stimați colegi, dezbaterea de astăzi este extrem de utilă pentru că aduce în atenția noastră o temă extrem de sensibilă pentru societățile noastre democratice. În mod clar, tehnologia ne-a oferit instrumente extraordinare de comunicare, prin care viața noastră s-a schimbat fundamental.

Rețelele sociale astăzi influențează viața politică, piețele financiare și, în mod cât se poate de clar, viața de zi cu zi a tuturor cetățenilor noștri. Problema se pune până unde merge această libertate de care se bucură aceste instrumente extrem de utile, pentru că s-a demonstrat că autoreglementarea nu a funcționat și îmi pare extrem de rău că nu reușim să găsim instrumente pentru a răspunde provocărilor la care suntem supuși, noi și Uniunea Europeană.

Am observat, în plină pandemie, campanii întregi de dezinformare la care au fost supuși cetățenii noștri de către state care au stat în spatele unor asemenea instrumente. Comisia a încercat să reacționeze, dar nu a fost suficient și cred că libertatea de exprimare trebuie apărată, dar în același timp trebuie să avem grijă de cetățenii noștri, pentru că am văzut multe voci în Parlament spunând că se bucură că lui Donald Trump i-a fost închis contul. Mă întreb de ce nu ne bucuram atunci când Putin anunța pe Twitter că a anexat Crimeea.


  Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, I want to thank the honourable Members for this debate and for all your opinions and views. For me it is extremely important to hear the opinions of this House because this is the first broad debate about if, and how, to regulate the Internet if I may simplify that. And I take several main messages.

First, what I heard from the vast majority of you is: it’s time to get to work. If we are not ambitious to become the rule-makers we will continue to be the rule-takers, the rules which have been created in Silicon Valley and which are imposed on our territory in the EU.

So it’s time to get to work with a sense of urgency and I very much count on the European Parliament and your approach to adopt the legislation which the Commission proposed soon enough. Also because we see a lot of impatience on the side of some Member States who want to go their own way. They want to have their own rules for the Internet and I think that it was quite clear also from this debate that we want to have a pan-European smart solution without any fragmentation by Member States.

The second main message which I got is that we are searching and working on the ideologically-neutral solution that the rules we are going to adopt should not be left or right, and that we will seek the solution which will protect the freedom of speech as the primary principle. So these are the main messages I took from this very important debate.

Coming back to the rule-makers, what we are doing is the continuation of the effort of the EU to be the rule-maker with global effect. We already managed to do that with the GDPR where we said that individual people must have the right to have their identity, their privacy, under control.

And now we are coming with a set of, I hope, consistent rules which are also consistent with the GDPR and its philosophy. We are coming with the Digital Services Act, the Digital Markets Act, the European Democracy Action Plan, and by all that we want to prove that the EU has a very healthy instinct when it comes to the risks which we see on the Internet and which can cause big harm to our societies.

What I heard from many of you was that the digital big tech grabbed too much power and too little responsibility. I would add I agree with that. The platforms captured a lot of public space. I sometimes say that they privatised the public space, and this is a public space without any public scrutiny whatsoever. So this is also our task: to demand more transparency and more accountability, because what’s happening online is heavily influencing real life.

I think it was Mr Tudorache who said that there is no difference between online and offline, that it’s one world. I tend to agree with that. On the other hand, it’s quite easy to blame the Internet and platforms for all our troubles. I think that we should really take a lesson from what happened in the US at the beginning of January. The platforms for the transmitters of the messages of the former President Trump who was inciting violence, whipping up the crowd who then invaded the Capitol, and there were victims, there were dead people.

So I think this is also a very strong goal on all of us who have influence on public opinion and on the reaction of our society to be more responsible and to be aware that social media can be a weapon, a dangerous weapon in our hands.

I am not calling for self-censoring for politicians. I am calling for more responsibility and awareness of the consequences when we use these social platforms and social media. I would like to recommend that you read Madeleine Albright’s book Fascism: A Warning. She speaks about social media as a weapon when it is used by bad people, when it appears in bad hands.

Let me react to several comments regarding disinformation in the time of COVID. I’m sure you know that the Commission has an agreement with big tech to do more against disinformation. So it’s not true that they have just started now, and I appreciate the recent announcement of Facebook that they want to do more against disinformation relating to vaccination.

The agreement is simple. I wanted them to enable more space for information from authorities, from health authorities, from those who are responsible for communication and for providing the people with trustworthy and evidence-based information.

For the health sector I think that is a very clear message: if you do not occupy the space it will be occupied by disinformation. The Ministers of Health are aware of that and they do their best. I have to praise them for everything they are doing in this very difficult moment and crisis, and they are doing their best to occupy the space with reliable information. The thing is that the people have to trust the information provided by the health authorities.

The fight against disinformation also contains what we offer or what we propose. It contains fact-checking. Honourable Members, let me do this now. I have to react to Mr Haider who said that the EU has not invested anything into the development and production of vaccination. This is fake news, and I think that if something like that is said, it’s also our obligation to come with the facts and deny that.

I also want to react because we speak here about the freedom of speech. I want to react to those who were mentioning the situation in Poland. I think we all have seen the black screens. The black screens are quite telling. I think they are screaming. Today it’s a question of protest of the media in Poland, expressed in a black screen. Tomorrow black screens might become a sad everyday reality. We also need to protect the freedom of speech by supporting independent media, not by suppressing them with additional financial burdens.

This doesn’t apply only to Poland. We have recommended many times to the Member States that they should support also financially media who are also the frontrunners in the COVID crisis, media which were already before the COVID crisis under big financial distress because the business model has changed brutally. The money from advertisers is being shifted to the online sphere which we keep speaking about today, and so we need to guarantee that the media can do their job because they have a very important role in our democratic societies.

So coming back to the law which we are now analysing. I have to say that we always advise the Member States to support media, as I said, but coming to the law, we are aware of the draft law and we need to look into it in more detail. We expect Member States to ensure that their fiscal or other policies will not affect the commitment to ensuring a free independent and diverse media ecosystem.

I have to add that about the legislative process, which is ongoing in Poland, that it is important to consult such legislation also with the media sector, and I understand from the recent information from Poland that this is foreseen.

I am sorry, I probably was longer than I wanted to be, but I really wanted to react to many of your very important opinions, which I had to take.


  President. – It’s an important topic so we are very happy that you really discussed it with us.


  Ana Paula Zacarias, Presidente em exercício do Conselho. – Senhora Presidente, Senhora Comissária, Senhores Deputados, gostaria de agradecer ao Parlamento este valioso contributo para este debate e também agradecer à Senhora Comissária pelas suas respostas e, simultaneamente, garantir que o Conselho continua empenhado num trabalho contínuo para proteger e promover os direitos fundamentais dos nossos cidadãos. Este assunto deve ser objeto de um diálogo construtivo e transparente entre os colegisladores e os diferentes stakeholders. Temos que conversar com as plataformas, com a sociedade civil, com os especialistas, para bem dos nossos cidadãos.

O Conselho está firmemente convicto de que as tecnologias digitais podem contribuir de forma significativa para a proteção dos direitos fundamentais e da democracia, desde que sejam salvaguardados os processos democráticos, os necessários controlos e equilíbrios adequados.

Como adaptar os nossos instrumentos jurídicos à rapidez e à imediatez do mundo online? Como alcançar e garantir o justo equilíbrio entre a liberdade de expressão, o pluralismo dos media e a proteção dos direitos dos cidadãos contra o ódio e a desinformação online? Como melhorar a educação digital dos nossos cidadãos? É para estas respostas que precisamos de trabalhar com o Parlamento Europeu, buscando a legalidade, a transparência, a diversidade e a liberdade de expressão.

A variedade de informações e a pluralidade de vozes são parte integrante dos nossos sistemas democráticos, mas não nos esqueçamos que salvaguardá-las significa também assegurar a proteção contra a violência e o ódio, a proteção dos menores, a proteção dos consumidores. O espaço digital precisa de ser seguro para todos nós. Isso também faz parte das regras da democracia.


  Die Präsidentin. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)


  Adam Bielan (ECR), na piśmie. – Wolność wypowiedzi jest uniwersalnym prawem człowieka, a media tradycyjne i online muszą działać w sposób nieskrępowany, aby w pełni realizować się jako dobra publiczne. W internecie, podobnie jak w rzeczywistości pozawirtualnej, niezbędne jest zapewnienie równowagi pomiędzy bezpieczeństwem a swobodą ekspresji, zwłaszcza wolnością słowa. Dlatego zasady i zakres odpowiedzialności platform internetowych za treści publikowane w internecie za ich pośrednictwem powinny być ukształtowane tak, aby z jednej strony przyczyniały się do zwiększenia bezpieczeństwa w sieci, z drugiej zaś gwarantowały ochronę praw podstawowych użytkowników internetu, zwłaszcza wspomnianej swobody ekspresji.

Mam nadzieję, że pakiet planowanych regulacji platform internetowych wypracuje jasne, przejrzyste, precyzyjne i sprawiedliwe zasady odnoszące się do zarządzania treścią przez portale internetowe. Równie istotne jak szybkie i efektywne usuwanie nielegalnych materiałów z internetu jest wprowadzenie mechanizmów przeciwdziałających nieuzasadnionemu usuwaniu lub blokowaniu treści.

Akt o usługach cyfrowych musi zapewnić ochronę demokracji opartej na obywatelach i wszystkiego, co się z nią wiąże: anonimowości, wolności słowa dla wszystkich, poszanowania opinii i publikacji artystycznych oraz oczywiście równego traktowania użytkowników i konsumentów.


  Milan Brglez (S&D), pisno. – V tem času t. i. digitalne revolucije se je pokazalo, da smo ljudje izredno hitri pri razvoju naprednih tehnologij, pa vendar še vedno precej bolj počasni pri določanju naprednih pravil za njihovo uporabo. Toda zakonodajalci (Evropski parlament skupaj s Svetom ali pa nacionalni parlamenti) smo in so kot regulatorji vedno odgovorni za to, kar se dogaja v realnem in digitalnem svetu.

Zato pozdravljam napore Komisije na tem področju in pri spodbujanju držav članic k čimprejšnjemu sprejemu zakonodajnega svežnja v okviru akta o digitalnih storitvah. Pri tem bi želel posebej poudariti, kako pomembno je, da se o prepovedanem in dopustnem oziroma o razmejitvi med svobodo govora ter sovražnim govorom in (namernim) širjenjem napačnih informacij presoja na najvišji (nadnacionalni) ravni demokratičnega procesa odločanja v EU.

Nujno moramo omogočiti digitalna okolja, ki bodo utemeljena na najvišjih demokratičnih načelih in spoštovanju človekovih pravic. Za trajnostno dobrobit širše družbe, še zlasti pa za varnost naših najmlajših generacij. Ob nedavnem dnevu varne uporabe interneta bi zato še posebej poudaril potrebo po čimprejšnji določitvi jasnih zakonskih razmerij med pravico do zasebnosti na spletu na eni strani in preprečevanjem psihičnega in fizičnega nasilja ter temeljnimi človekovimi pravicami otrok na drugi strani. Varovanje človekovih pravic otrok mora vedno in povsod imeti prednost.


  Josianne Cutajar (S&D), in writing. – Whether we like it or not, we are at the dawn of a new era. It will become all the more difficult to distinguish between what is true and what is not. We will reopen for debate principles and axioms across all areas of knowledge, which generations before ours had fought strenuously to prove as correct. Indeed, we live in times where a click from an individual or the decision of a CEO can disprove or set back achievements accomplished by humanity in centuries. Fortunately, we still are in a position to decide our own course of action, to cooperate in international fora, setting the foundation of a future digital world that respects – rather than degrades – humanity and dignity. People today believe the world is flat, individuals disregard freedom of speech, and far too many, not comprehending fully, take for granted the great achievement that is democracy. We cannot allow social media platforms, which have become essential for today’s social, economic and political discourse, nor their users, to continue to spread lies and hatred. We need checks and balances that include effective laws. We need to protect what we have achieved and ensure a decent future for all.


  Bettina Vollath (S&D), schriftlich. – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram – wir alle kennen und nutzen Online-Dienste. Diese riesigen Plattformen erreichen Milliarden Menschen weltweit. Doch trotz ihrer enormen Reichweite sind sie nach wie vor kaum reguliert.

Lange hat man den Plattformen die Möglichkeit der freiwilligen Selbstregulierung überlassen – sie sollten auf Basis des EU-Verhaltenskodex selbst gegen Desinformation vorgehen. Doch der Anstieg an Fake News und schädlichen Inhalten zeigt, dass diese Idee der Selbstregulierung gescheitert ist. Nur durch demokratische Kontrolle von Social-Media-Plattformen können wir dieses Problem in den Griff kriegen. Wir brauchen einen starken Rechtsrahmen, der die Meinungsfreiheit und die Grundrechte schützt und zugleich schädliche Inhalte beschränkt.

Das Europäische Parlament hat deshalb bereits im Oktober letzten Jahres klargemacht, dass die Entscheidung darüber, was entfernt werden muss, bei den demokratischen Institutionen liegen müsse. Sie müssen den rechtlichen Rahmen schaffen, in dem unabhängige Gerichte Entscheidungen treffen. Gesetze und nicht private Unternehmerinnen und Unternehmer müssen festlegen, was zulässig ist und was nicht. Das schafft Rechtssicherheit für Bürgerinnen und Bürger und für Plattformen.

Wir werden im Parlament nun alles dafür tun, um auf Basis des Kommissionsvorschlages eine starke Gesetzgebung für Meinungsfreiheit und gegen Desinformation zu schaffen.


  Isabel Santos (S&D), por escrito. – A regulação das redes sociais não constitui objeto de debate fácil, uma vez que estão aqui em confronto direitos fundamentais diametralmente opostos, mas esta é uma realidade premente, da qual não podemos escapar. Cumpre então ao Parlamento – no seu papel de colegislador – fazer uma ponderação dos bens jurídicos tutelados pela liberdade de expressão e informação, de forma a encontrar uma compatibilização entre os direitos em conflito e, acima de tudo, salvaguardar o interesse público.

E isto é tão verdade se pensarmos que, de um lado, as redes sociais podem unir as pessoas em torno de objetivos comuns (respostas à situação de emergência climática, mobilização para protestos onde se exigem mudanças políticas e sociais, entre tantos outros exemplos), como podem, com igual facilidade, separá-las, através de campanhas de desinformação, do apelo ao ódio, à violência, à perseguição.

A necessidade de regulação é, pois, imperiosa, mas os termos em que irá decorrer e os critérios a que deverá obedecer deverão ser escrupulosamente definidos de forma a que o difícil equilíbrio de valores acima mencionado seja feito, como se referiu, de forma a salvaguardar sempre o interesse público.


  Ernő Schaller-Baross (PPE), írásban. – A közösségi médiát üzemeltető platformok a nyilvánosság csomópontjai. Emiatt a véleményformálás folyamatába való beavatkozásuk különösen súlyos következményekkel jár, míg tevékenységük és a felhasználók által közzétett tartalmakkal kapcsolatos döntéshozataluk nem átlátható. Az Európai Unió az eddigiekben részben teret engedett az önszabályozásnak az online platformok működésének területén, most azonban új, digitális szolgáltatásokról szóló jogszabálycsomagban a helyes irányt jelöli ki és keretek közé szorítja a piacvezető digitális vállalatokat. Kiemelkedő fontossággal bír az egységes uniós fellépés ezen a területen és hogy az EU ezt tagállamokra alapozva valósítsa meg.

Fokozott felügyeletet kell gyakorolni a platformok felett, azonban ez a felügyeleti hatóság csak abban az esetben működhet megfelelően, ha az Európai Unió a nemzeti hatóságokra is épít. Figyelembe kell venni, hogy az Európai Unió valamennyi tagállama különböző nemzeti sajátossággal, szabályozási környezettel bír. Különbségek adódnak a tagállamok között azzal kapcsolatban, hogy mi minősül a nemzeti büntető törvénykönyvek szerint jogellenes tartalomnak. A tagországbeli hatóságok nélkülözhetetlen tapasztalatokkal rendelkeznek a digitális platformok tagállami szintű működésével kapcsolatban. Az átláthatóság, a jogállamisági elvárásoknak megfelelő működés és a politikai semlegesség megkövetelése olyan alapvető elvek, amelyeknek a digitális térben való érvényesülése közös cél, ezt a célt pedig csak közösen, uniós fellépéssel, a tagállamokra építve érhetjük el.

Poslední aktualizace: 14. dubna 2021Právní upozornění - Ochrana soukromí