Media blackout as politicians in EU, US, UK, Brazil, Ireland, Canada, and Australia seek to jail citizens for wrongthink under the cover of a Big Lie about “hate speech”
By Michael Shellenberger and Alex Gutentag
The Twitter Files gave us a window into how government agencies, civil society, and tech companies work together to censor social media users. Now, key nations are attempting to enshrine this coordination into law explicitly.
Around the world, politicians have either just passed or are on the cusp of passing sweeping new laws, which would allow governments to censor ordinary citizens on social media and other Internet platforms.
Under the guise of preventing “harm” and holding large tech companies accountable, several countries are establishing a vast and interlinked censorship apparatus, a new investigation by Public finds.
Politicians, NGOs, and their enablers in the news media claim that their goal is merely to protect the public from “disinformation.” But vague definitions and loopholes in new laws will create avenues for broad application, overreach, and abuse.
In Ireland, for example, the government may soon be able to imprison citizens simply for possessing material that officials decide is “hateful.” Under the RESTRICT Act in the US, the government may soon have the authority to monitor the Internet activity of any American deemed a security risk.
Governments aim for total control. In Canada, a state agency can filter and manipulate what Canadians see online. In Australia, a single government official can compel social media companies to remove posts.
Governments and allied NGOs intend to force tech companies to comply with their rules. UK lawmakers have threatened to imprison social media managers who don’t censor enough content. And Brazil has introduced severe penalties for platforms that fail to remove “fake news.”
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