Threatening Social Media Platforms With Traffic Throttling
Recently, I prepared a lecture for the Asia Pacific School of Internet Governance. In midst of my research, came across an old piece of news. Last year, Facebook claimed that it had only agreed to comply with the Vietnam requests to take-down anti-state materials, because the government had threatened to throttle traffic to Facebook. Content-removal, automation of take-downs etc are not the only ways that the governments and other actors regulate social media platforms. One aspect that I think we should think more about is the role of governments in regulating social media platforms via Internet infrastructure. When governments have the liberty to use Internet infrastructure to regulate the actors on the Internet, then we need to think about the appropriate ways that social media platforms should respond to this. Should they, like Facebook, agree to government requests in the face of such threats?