Twitter, public space must be run by politicians

Louis of Disbach

Senior Manager of Cream Consulting

Elon Musk’s ability to make Twitter an agora is worth realizing what the platform really is: a public space.

The history of technology is intertwined with progress – with its ups and downs, its talents and its irreplaceable flaws. This strategy has always been imbued withA certain popular misunderstanding between fear, admiration, surprise and curiosity. From the printer to the internet to electricity or the car and its internal combustion engine, we always wondered if it was safe, what the risks were, how it worked.

Louis of Disbach

Algorithmic strategy that manages Digital platforms are no exception With, however, Two significant differences: The owners of this technique refuse to open the hood and, even if they do, they will be incapable of explaining the operation of the engine – or engines – there.

Its potential acquisition is concomitant The innovations proposed by Elon Musk on Twitter will make the first difference: By an offer Complete clarity, You can not say the hood will not open wide! The second aspect, however, remains: the algorithm engine – which is also very explosive – remains obscure. But what if we continue our analogy, if a vehicle accident happens? What if the engine breaks down? What if he sends a vehicle into the ditch? “It’s the watchmakers, not the watchmakers, who are responsible for the failure of the watch,” wrote Hans Jonas.

Double caution

We see a double whammy in Elon Musk’s will.

On the one hand, it shows what the talent behind Tesla, PayPal or SpaceX wants to do Responsibility question slip. In fact, revealing the secrecy of its algorithm, it would seem to want to show its credentials above all and Clear yourself of the responsibility of TwitterIn the service of all the freedom of expression that he wants without limits.

On the other hand, he seems to have forgotten it The transparency of technology cannot be absolute. In addition to the many algorithms available to run Twitter – or other platforms – This clarity may not be desirable for younger players. By opening their code, they may have to reveal themselves what makes them successful, or they may have to spend thousands of cents on unnecessary and unnecessary documentation, training or reporting. Exceeding these barriers for “non-mastodon” It would be a question of not confusing transparency and explanability.



What is the interest of the consumer – and therefore the legislature who wants to work for him – to be able to use his technological advances to ensure his autonomy and his protection.

What the consumer is interested in – and therefore the legislator who wants to work for him – will be able to guarantee his autonomy and protection in the use of any technological advancement: be it a digital platform, a washing machine or a new Toyota model. . Philosopher Gilbert Hotois thinks that technological problems are “above all political or economic problems” (which could potentially strengthen or paroxysm technology). The power of algorithms is always at the same time their design and their purpose – commercial, financial or political.



The Agora that Elon Musk wanted would look more like a Colosseum arena than the Augustus forum.

However, it does have a definite effect for users: the transparency that the mask seeks will actually lead to a new manipulation of advertising (in the sense of universal space) from the network to the Blue Bird. It is impossible to tweet innocently if the algorithm is open to us: The most powerful users will handle it as they wish, and the Agora that Elon Musk wanted will look more like a Colosseum than the Augustus Forum. With neoliberal hormones doped, Twitter, with all its clarity, risks losing out on its potential – and the economic growth that accompanies it.

The power of the city

Offensively, Twitter will have the potential to aggravate the situation Realizing what the platform really is: a universal space. With so many billions of people, it’s hard to imagine social networks being a private space. Considering them this way, we leave the platforms the right to decide what happens between them – but if we see them as a public space, this is a whole new field of possibilities we have to offer. This new place should then be run directly by politiciansBy the strength of the city, and by a new democratic impetus.



Europe seems to be following the demands of Frances Haugen, Tristan Harris, and other American whistleblowers.

Far from the absolute desire for transparency, It will raise the question of responsibility So – the European Commission, along with the DSAs and the DMAs, have taken this route. Like GDPR, its first steps are undoubtedly hesitant, stunned, but Europe seems to be following the demands of Frances Hagen, Tristan Harris and other American whistleblowers. – Hopefully others will follow. Our democratic debate and our digital economy are at stake.

By Louis of DisbachSenior Manager at Cream Consulting.

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