On Friday, March 24th, 2023, the ISOC-CH General Assembly decided to join the explicit disassociation from the position paper “Joint Statement zur Plattformregulierung” issued and co-signed by Digitale Gesellschaft (Digiges) a few months ago.
Besides many positive aspects, the position paper contains several problematic points. In particular, the goal of limiting “disinformation” is unacceptable. Any mechanisms to combat “disinformation” inevitably require an authority to decide on “true” and “false.” A a consequence, this leads to censorship, which violates freedom of expression and information. Therefore, this is incompatible with a constitutional democracy. Moreover, one must ask what such instruments could mean in the wrong hands if they are misused for dangerous political goals.
Freedom of opinion and freedom of information are explicitly stated in the Federal Constitution of Switzerland, the European Convention on Human Rights as well as in the statutes of Digiges. With the above-mentioned position paper, Digiges contradicts its own principles.
Regarding Internet und Human Rights, the Internet Society emphasizes that people deserve to have their rights protected on the Internet as well as offline. Furthermore, ISOC-CH believes that public debate on platforms is highly relevant for society and sees a need for action with regard to ensuring open discourse in accordance with democratic principles. Here we have formulated our principles for future platform democratization (in German).
ISOC-CH is a member of Digiges. Although, de jure, Digiges cannot speak in the name of ISOC-CH, a position of Digiges is often perceived to be also the position of their members in public. For this reason, ISOC-CH explicitly expresses its disassociation from the above mentioned position paper.