MIAMI, FLORIDA – Analysts and experts in digital platforms and public policies said Wednesday that the evolution of technology and social networks is leading to a negotiation scenario between the private sector and governments to lay the foundations for legislation to regulate the content on the internet. The debate is more open than ever after the main social media companies, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube, blocked the personal accounts of former President Donald Trump, who has been accused of instigating the attack on the United States Capitol in the past. January 6th. According to Pedro Vaca, special rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, “we are at a turning point” in which both private companies, activists and public administrations are willing to sit down and discuss the parameters and scope that social networks must have today. “There are many more actors who want to be part of the conversation and contribute positively, and that debate can be an opportunity,” Vaca advocated during an event organized by Inter-American Dialogue to address this issue. After Trump’s blockade in the networks: Will it be the turn of some leaders of the region? Many analysts and users of the networks look towards the “authoritarian governments” of Latin America hoping that the main social network companies will also block their leaders. Freedom of expression does not cover everything However, he also wanted to highlight “the power of decision” that social networks have to take the “most drastic” measures, while considering that “the field is not the same for everyone” in so much so that “freedom of expression cannot be taken to the point of violence.” “We cannot take refuge in freedom of expression when there are cases of violence, abuse or damage,” he defended. Along these lines, he explained something that all the actors involved in the regulation of content on social networks must take into account: “That they are eliminated from the digital environment does not mean that the real problem disappears.” “What happens in the neighborhoods, in the churches, in the schools, is something that we are even failing to see and we stop making an analysis of what is happening,” he stressed in this regard. Should social networks lose their legal protection against lawsuits? President Donald Trump’s suspension of social media did not go down well in Europe. Many leaders consider it a violation of freedom of expression. They debate whether the state should regulate social networks. But that opens the door to state censorship. Others consider that they should be treated as newspaper publishers and the legal protection they enjoy against lawsuits for content published by users should be eliminated. “The words of the presidents matter” For Vanessa Rubio, who was senator and undersecretary of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico, confirms that the presidents of the nations “have an incomparable weight, a responsibility and a particular prominence”. For this reason, he defends that these regulations must also address the weight and importance they have in a population to take such “drastic” measures such as their disappearance from those platforms. “This is a space that has been renewed,” he admitted, although he insisted on the necessary debate to address today’s problems. “The problem is not the network, but the human beings who are against rights. What happens there is a reflection of reality and it occurs in a space that does not have regulation, “he added while wondering” what must be done to protect the rights of the population. ” She also considers that “a debate must be held” in which “private companies and governments” intervene. He warned about this that public administrations or corporations cannot carry out “a struggle of forces” without consensus, which would lead to a situation of uncontrol in a scenario as uncertain as the current one. “It cannot be a debate of forces, we need regulation to start from dialogue because otherwise there may be independent and random measures” that, according to her, do not provide a solution to this problem. In this sense, he argued that “regulation has to be transparent and applicable to everyone” designed from “an inclusive dialogue.” European populists fear restrictions on social networks The veto of President Donald Trump on social networks has caused European populists and authoritarians to fear similar actions against them. That is why they seek to pass laws in their countries that allow them to influence decision-making and limit the administrations of social networks. Others do want social networks to act against those who post disinformation on the networks. What should the conversation be based on? For Vaca, the negotiations to lay the foundations for a possible regulation of digital media would have to take into account “transoceanic infrastructures” while the scope of social networks “goes beyond the sovereignty of the states”, and also the implementation of a “code” through which all the actors involved can abide by. All of this with a premise: “The dialogue that arises must comply with human rights standards.” Mariana Valiente, director of InternetLab, also believes that the time has come to talk about “control of industries” and believes that states “may be able to regulate that.” “They need to improve the improvement, moderation and control of content,” he said.