Ursula Von der Leyen calls for democratic limits to tech companies power

European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen has drawn attention to the disruptive power of tech companies on democratic regimes. During a speech marking the inauguration of the US President Joe Biden, Von der Leyen stressed that democracies are in peril ‘when hate speech and fake news spread like wildfire through digital media’. She mentioned that there is an obligation to ensure that ‘messages of hate and fake news can no longer be spread unchecked’. In addition, she underlined that policymakers ‘must impose democratic limits on the untrammeled and uncontrolled political power of the internet giants’. She also noted that online platforms’ decision to take down public officials’ accounts must be grounded in law and not random company rules.