Conservative Party plans to crack down on extremism could lead to the dangerous censorship of public debate. It’s amazing how the establishment controls hoi polloi by censorship. Every blog that dares tell the truth about the established institutions of politics, religion, education, and society is suspended by the blogging platforms for violating the terms of service. Governments, big investors, and big donors are part of this scheme to gag dissenting voices.
The Party’s manifesto pledges that a Conservative government will establish a Commission for Countering Extremism to identify examples of extremism and expose them, but the definition of extremism is so vague, it may be used as a fig leaf to persecute those with unfashionable opinions.
The established media of course like this game, because they get rid of competition. The only way out is either to write for big media or to speak in public. That’s why I enjoy being a keynote speaker. When I speak in public, nobody can censor me, no matter what I say about kleptocrats, warmongers, and charlatans. Public speaking is now the only game in town for free speech.
Never forget that hate speech is also a part of free speech. It’s amazing how frequently politicians accuse their competitors of hate speech or fake news. Instead of arguments based on facts and reason, we read nonsense based on false accusations and superstition.
The word ‘extremist’ has been robbed of all meaning by activists who use it against anyone who disagrees with them. We’ve already seen a series of witch-hunts against people with traditional views.
This Commission on extremism might make a bad situation a whole lot worse.
You can’t have this Commission for Countering Extremism denouncing people for not holding the ‘correct’ views.
“We will consider what new criminal offences might need to be created, and what new aggravated offences might need to be established, to defeat the extremists,” the manifesto reads. However, writing to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights in February of this year, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd admitted that a working definition of “extremism” had yet to be formulated.
“[T]his policy area raises complex issues relating to freedom of speech and the importance of having a clear legal definition of extremism,” she wrote, adding: “These are issues that my department continues to consider and, as you know, we have committed to a full consultation on any new legislation before it is introduced.”
Using the vague concept of extremism on its own as a basis for taking away freedoms is a serious risk to civil liberty.
People labelled extremists in their own day include Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Wilberforce and the Tolpuddle Martyrs. Today, people like Germaine Greer and Dame Jenni Murray are vilified for extreme views on transsexualism that actually represent the views of the great majority of people.
The policy is particularly troubling as the manifesto also sets out plans to apparently redesign the internet to filter out unwanted or undesirable communications.
“In harnessing the digital revolution, we must take steps to protect the vulnerable and give people confidence to use the internet without fear of abuse, criminality or exposure to horrific content. Our starting point is that online rules should reflect those that govern our lives offline,” the manifesto states, adding: “Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet. We disagree.”
Senior Tories have confirmed the government intends to introduce huge restrictions on what people can post, share and publish online.
Under the proposals, Facebook and Google could end up having to decide what constitutes legal content, rather than allowing the courts to rule on the matter. They won’t get it right – they’ll behave in a risk-averse fashion. They’ll censor more than they need to. Zuckerberg cannot be a judge and jury of what people can say in UK.
Schools and religions are major tools in brainwashing and controlling hoi polloi. It’s inhumane and ridiculous to imprison kids in schools for many years in order to indoctrinate them to the status quo and keep teachers busy. Even though all religions are wrong and mumbo-jumbo escape from reality, governments support them in order to hoodwink the masses about the divinity of suffering.
Germany has formally announced its draconian push towards censorship of social media. This stupid law is a code of conduct, which Germany pressed upon Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in late 2015, and which included a pledge to delete hate speech from their websites within 24 hours.
This law sets out binding standards for the way operators of social networks deal with complaints and obliges them to delete criminal content. Statements that are deemed illegal under German law are now being conflated with statements that are merely deemed, subjectively and on the basis of entirely random complaints from social media users, who are free to abuse the code of conduct to their heart’s content, to be hate speech. Hate speech includes critiques of migration policies. To be in disagreement with the government’s policies is now criminal. Social media companies, such as Facebook, are supposed to be the government’s informers and enforcers, working at the speed of light to comply with the 24-hour rule. Rule of law, clearly, as in North Korea, Iran, Russia or any banana-republic, has no place in this system.
Social media platforms with more than two million users are obliged to delete or block any libel, slander, defamation or incitement, within 24 hours of receipt of a user complaint. The networks receive seven days for more complicated cases. Government could fine a social media company up to 50 million euros for failing to comply with the law; it could fine a company’s chief representative up to 5 million euros.
If Facebook insists on operating under rules of censorship, it should at the very least aim to administer those rules in a fair manner. Facebook, however, does not even pretend that it administers its censorship in any way that approximates fairness. Instead, Facebook’s practice of its so-called Community Standards, the standards to which Facebook refers when deleting or allowing content on its platform in response to user complaints, shows evidence of entrenched bias. Posts critical of migrant policies, for example, can get categorized as Islamophobia, and are often found to violate Community Standards, while incitement to actual violence and the murder of Jews and Israelis by Palestinian Arabs is generally considered as conforming to Facebook’s Community Standards!
Facebook’s bias is so strong that it recently restored Palestinian Arab terrorist group Fatah’s Facebook page, which incites hatred and violence against Jews, despite having shut it down only three days earlier. In 2016 alone, this page had a minimum of 130 posts glorifying terror and the murder of Jews.
EU is now imposing censorship on email providers and ordering postal authorities to screen letters, magazines, and brochures in the event that citizens spread xenophobia and fake news. During the Cold War, people living behind the Iron Curtain had their private letters opened by the communist authorities. Those passages deemed to be out of line with the communist orthodoxy, were simply blacked out. So many years after the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), EU is reinventing itself in the image of the Soviet Union!