Each country has its own laws, its own highway code and its own tax system. Wouldn't it be logical if everyone could set the same clear boundaries for the circulation of information online? The answer to this question might seem rhetorical, especially given that in the absence of national laws, all power over what can and can’t be said on the internet is in the hands of a very few international digital giants. Nations are left with just two options: to block certain platforms completely (from social networks to search engines), as is the case in China and a few other countries, or to enforce the deletion of any content deemed undesirable.
If such requests come from democratic countries, private companies operating online platforms usually adapt to the specifics of each country without any particular difficulty. For example, in Italy, it’s a crime to insult the President of the Republic (including online); in Germany, it is forbidden to display extreme right-wing symbols which are allowed in other countries.