Europe's "Fake News" Crusade to "Protect" You From Free Speech

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Europe's "Fake News" Crusade to "Protect" You From Free Speech

Authored by Robbie Travers via The Gatestone Institute,

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear," George Orwell wrote in his ant-totalitarian novel, 1984. He would probably have frowned upon the latest UK Government blueprint to create a regulatory agency that will ultimately strangle freedom of expression.

Scrutiny against "Fake News," is undoubtedly a positive development.  It means that at least people are questioning the news they are consuming. Yes, it is a problem that so much disinformation and misinformation exists. It is, however, a far bigger problem if they do not. The public's resolve should be that disinformation is not combated by a regulatory body controlled by Government. Individual arguments, with evidence, is what belongs in a democracy, which can only survive if it is a marketplace of ideas.

If having a Government body decide what can and cannot be published – thereby creating a culture of both official censorship and self-censorship -- is not enough to concern you, the briefest glance at what this newly created British body would consider "Fake News" should send you running into the street.

This new UK Government body would deem worthy of censorship "Satire or parody which means no harm but can fool people". According to these geniuses, satire and parody are "Fake News."

Satire often relies on mixing believability and absurdity -- not necessarily to fool people but to point out serious problems in a more approachable way. This can be done to draw people's attention to take a harder look at what they are consuming, or to make a wider political point humourously. The idea that satirical publications would be possibly removed and censored because people might believe them sounds disingenuous at best, and at worst autocratic.

It is easy to see how Governments might be tempted to censor criticism by satire or any other way. Someone might end up exposing truths that the government would rather were not made public. Someone high up might, God forbid, even be the butt of a joke. All jokes, then, will be required to conform to the Government's opinions, while jokes that mock the opposition will be left untouched? Who regulates the regulators? Criminalising jokes is the first step toward the end of freedom. Look at Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has filed over 1,800 cases against cartoonists, and others who dared to make a joke at his expense.

This new British body, according to a UK Government Spokesperson, will reportedly be "tasked with combating disinformation" -- but what counts as "disinformation"?

 

If "disinformation" is determined by Government, the Government is free to censor anyone who challenges its opinion, or what it might like its subjects to believe. Who would you trust to run the bureau that decides which political opinions are malicious and dangerous. and which should be censored because they are "fake"?

Even if you agree with the UK Government, that, say, Russia poses a dangerous geopolitical threat by spreading disinformation, it is the job of the government to let you hear it, and then tell you why it is not correct. The danger remains that while the current government might not abuse its powers of censorship, the next one might. Giving power to a Government you trust only means that, later on, you may well find out that you have given that power to a Government you may not trust.

 

Moreover, does this new body mean that individuals could be challenged for presenting alternative opinions, or for challenging facts released by a Government? What if such challenges could be deeply important? How, then, is one to expose, for instance, wrongdoing by the Government? Sadly, this kind of policy seems poised not only to become a reality in Britain; it seems to be setting up shop throughout Europe.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron is leading a crusade against whatever some judicial official decides is "Fake News." Macron says websites that carry fake news will be "banned" "in order to protect democracy," supposedly because they present false narratives. Macron notes that France "needs" "emergency bans," to silence websites regarded by the French Government as sharing "fake news" -- especially, one assumes, during elections.

Even if judgements against some of these websites could be overturned in court, doing so would clearly be an enormous financial burden, as the would-be censors doubtless know. But what a handy way not to have one's policies questioned! Opposition could be silenced, even if temporarily, while you run your citizens through a legal gauntlet worthy of Galileo; meanwhile the Government can have the run of the corral to shape a discourse that favours -- itself. Governments also usually fight with endless time and endless resources.

Macron claims that he is attempting to "protect democracy." No, one does not protect democracy by restricting the freedom of speech by the members of that democracy. Democracy means letting the people (demos) have open access to information and coming to their own conclusions.

Germany has already passed laws which demand that any "hate speech" or "fake news," be removed from social networking. Immediately, the political opposition paid the price. Beatrix von Storch, a prominent member of parliament of the advancing AfD party, was suspended on January 2, the day after the law went into effect, for her twitter posts. What a nifty way to silence her and others -- and their ability to challenge the Government.

Even more dangerous, Ireland's Government is proposing legislation that would mean individuals could spend up to five years in prison for disseminating supposedly "Fake News" on internet accounts. How could a threat of imprisonment not have a chilling effect on open discourse? In a free society, Government should not be able to jail an individual for sharing opinions with which it disagrees. As the Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky wrote in his book, "The Case for Democracy," it is precisely the "The Town Square Test" that determines whether or not a society can even be considered free:

"If a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm, then that person is living in a fear society, not a free society."

The UK Prime Minister's Spokesperson noted that , "We are living in an era of fake news and competing narratives." All right, time to compete. Explain to the public why your narrative is better. Where is it written that narratives should not compete? Political discourse depends on having differing ideas clashing, enabling different individuals to test their ideas through talk rather than through jail. A society with a single narrative is inherently a totalitarian one -- "Big Brother" -- that does not tolerate anyone questioning its essential orthodoxies. Attempts to censor "competing narratives" is probably just a tip-off that certain individuals are afraid their political ideas will be unable to withstand the questions asked or the test of time.

If Macron, and other European leaders truly want to "defend democracy" -- a premise that seems open to question -- it is time they made the case for defending it by supporting freedom of speech, unassisted by the "bear hug" of a "protective" government. If the values of human rights, democracy and freedom are as great as many know them to be, then "Fake News" will quickly be exposed as merely that, and not pose a threat to "True News" for very long.

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Profile picture for user CuttingEdge

CuttingEdge  medium giraffe Feb 2, 2018 5:08 AM Permalink

The Daily Telegraph, and every other MSM outlet in the UK are completely in sync with their US counterparts on Trump.

The memo? Zero coverage until this morning - I shit you not. And this morning, their first article on the biggest nuke in US political history (with Nixon as a benchmark - this is magnitudes more severe than that)?

Donald Trump’s FBI memo release 'risks revealing British spying methods'

(Behind a paywall, but not worth wiping your digital ass with anyway).

Same as the Wikileaks saga - zero coverage of the truth.

Morally corrupted cunts one and all.

And completely co-ordinated with their brethren cunts across the pond in the US media. An easy enough spot if you have an eye on both.

In reply to Thank God the Gatestone…by medium giraffe

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Arnold  HenryKissinger… Feb 2, 2018 5:44 AM Permalink

The wife is a Hillary supporter,life long Demonocrat.
I expect nothing else.
She has signed up for 7 Fridays of Woodrow Wilson Institute lectures.
I have read the background material that was provided.
The Wolffe book and the Wolff book are on the Coffee Table, though hidden under the Daily Paper.
She is being Educated , I know the source.

Happy Wife, Happy life.

In reply to German Press since the…by HenryKissinger…

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nmewn  Scar Bro Feb 2, 2018 6:49 AM Permalink

eh heh...eh heh heh heh...

PolitiFact‏Verified account @PolitiFact  16h16 hours ago

We sought out a Democrat and Republican to critique our work in order to try to improve the trust and credibility (Edit:lol) in fact-checking and PolitiFact. It has become clear our choice of Alan Grayson did not meet that threshold to many.

...Alan Grayson?...trust & credibility?!

AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!

https://twitter.com/PolitiFact?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2…

In reply to Fuck off with blaming…by Scar Bro

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philipat  giovanni_f Feb 2, 2018 5:20 AM Permalink

So then can we assume that Gatestone also supports the right of David Icke and others to speak out against radical Zionism and the genocide and illegal land grab by the Isaraeli State in Palestine?

Because at present, anyone who speaks out is either highly censored or immediately targeted as being "anti-semitic" which is, of course, a perfect example of "fake news".

In reply to information is like food…by giovanni_f

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action jackson 911  Quantify Feb 3, 2018 8:13 AM Permalink

Yes, man, fuck the muzzies, they are savage animals, nothing more, everyone should already know that. But hey, ignorance is strenght in the stupid spineless Western Europeistan :)) and that`s why they are doomed. Wars are coming over there, a fuckin` lot of them, they also know it, but guess what, you can not chnage what the fuckin` future has in store for ya, stupid idiots from Western Europeistan and Englandistan too :)) How are you, muzzie fuckers from Luton, Leeds and Co. ? :)) Everything good around there ? :)) You will get nuked, soon.

In reply to If Israel fell, the…by Quantify

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Profile picture for user kellys_eye

kellys_eye  medium giraffe Feb 2, 2018 5:44 AM Permalink

Can't see how it works really - simply reject the accusations and go to court.  To take someone to court requires discovery therefore the facts, on both sides, have to be presented as evidence.

In fact, BRING IT ON!

This puts it straight back into the 'court of public opinion' and unless .gov can manipulate ALL the courts and ALL the juries then the truth gets its exposure like it or not.

This is why the advocates of cGW/MMCC etc abhor the process and have consistently refused court action and/or introduced delay after delay - in the hope that the defence i.e. the skeptic, runs out of money and the case is dismissed.

For cases where the public are in direct conflict with authority (immigration, aforementioned cAGW, EU membership etc) crowd funding the defence would be a fairly popular route to take.

I'm a tightwad and I'd stump up to see .gov put in their place.  Who wouldn't!

 

 

In reply to Thank God the Gatestone…by medium giraffe

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wildbad  kellys_eye Feb 2, 2018 6:37 AM Permalink

agreed Kelleys_eye.
they too will be victims of the Streisand effect. The more they opress, hide, ban, the more they are required to uncloak, making their true objectives and true natures apparent.

the germans have had the media in their pocket since Nüremberg. They, are also in the pocket of their US paymasters and controllers. The CIA has been and continues to bend the trends and go "full-Goebbels" on their browbeaten and pliant population of cucks.

merkel, demisiere, schultz, maas , the lot of them are control freaks losing control.

i can smell their desperation and they will not be protected by their red carpets and thier gepanzerte mercedes

In reply to Can't see how it works…by kellys_eye

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Profile picture for user rwe2late

rwe2late  kellys_eye Feb 2, 2018 9:59 AM Permalink

 You are promoting belief in an absurdly false security

based on  ridiculous Pollyanna naivete about the judicial system.

 

for starters, crowdfunding for defense costs (conspiracy to promote illegal fake news)?

Accusations will be called "fake news" and no accusations will be allowed.

 

And even if one has reasonable evidence, and money for trial,

And could get a trial date with an impartial judge,

Do you really expect the dissenters (the accusers)

to be able to "prove" in court (in less than a decade) that:

prisoners are tortured at CIA black sites,

or Monsanto poisons food for profit,

or Russia did not invade Crimea,

or that the Pentagon practices and supports "terrorists",

or that banning marijuana is counterproductive,

or that the whole "war on drugs" is counterproductive,

or that the DNC rigged the nomination,

or that NK is not a serious threat to the USA

or any other statement or accusation that the government disapproves/denies?

 

And have you missed who makes the laws? The bailouts and bailins, the military invasions, the drone assassinations, the torture, the surveillance, etc. -- it is all "legal", approved by resolutions, executive decrees, and convoluted interpretations of the Constitution.

In reply to Can't see how it works…by kellys_eye

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Profile picture for user Pinche Caballero

Pinche Caballero  medium giraffe Feb 2, 2018 5:56 AM Permalink

Mr. Giraffe, thank you for the link.

Read the article and looked at the chart connecting CFR through less than a dozen companies in control to all the media outlets. Reminds me our "choices" from among thousands of products as consumers are all controlled by about only a dozen multinational corporations.

I used to pooh-pooh the idea that someone in government would arrange the assassination of a sitting US President (JFK). Now, however, seeing the orchestrated opposition from within government to the current POTUS, I really couldn't say for sure that a government agency wouldn't be involved in something quite so sinister. Looking at the history of FBI involvement with MLK and the Bureau's efforts to discredit him, all the way to revealing the files Hoover kept on literally everybody... YIKES!

The only reason anyone is even aware of the levels of corruption among the political elite is because HRC didn't win the election. Had she, none of this would have even been brought to light. And, of course, the ongoing steady state propagandizing by the big corporate news outlets supports the anti-Trump narrative. It's pretty much as described in the article you linked to.

Sheesh! One cannot look at all of it, and not be a conspiracy theorist. At a minimum, I at least am aware it's a big club, and I ain't in it (RIP, George).

In reply to Thank God the Gatestone…by medium giraffe

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OverTheHedge  Pinche Caballero Feb 2, 2018 8:10 AM Permalink

It has been brought to my attention recently that Hilary was a shoe-in twice, and twice she failed. Is it possible that Obama was actually a good guy? Did the best he could, and anything not Clinton was better than nothing at all. I'm not putting it forward as a fact, just something to make you go "Hmmm". At the very least, remember how broken she was when Obama won the nomination, and smile. Then remember her losing to Trump, and smile. It's the little things in life that are important, so my wife tells me.

In reply to Mr. Giraffe, thank you for…by Pinche Caballero

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hooligan2009 Feb 2, 2018 5:13 AM Permalink

"all your words belong to us - not you"

seems that politicians want to be thought police, judges and prison guards.

how ironic that the politically correct libtard socialists are scared of truth, humour and life in general because they simply can't cope with diversity.

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BritBob Feb 2, 2018 5:21 AM Permalink

The absolute best fake news and indoctrination since the Nazi's must go to the Argentinians.

Escude´explained that the intensification of ''territorial indoctrination'' had a snowball effect. It began in 1947 and by 1979 Argentinians were already mentally conditioned to go to war, if necessary to protect a particular image of the national territory. The image taught to two generations of Argentinians was that the national territory was composed of two parts: ''the continental territory'' and the ''imaginary territory'' and the imaginary territory made up of the ''Antarctic region'' and the ''ocean islands''.

 

Falklands - Argentina's Imaginary Territory (1 pg):- https://www.academia.edu/35715281/Falklands_Argentinas_Imaginary_Territory

 

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Is-Be  BritBob Feb 2, 2018 6:24 AM Permalink

Nazjs? You are referring to the Aske-nazis, obviously.

But perhaps you are just lobbing an unthought out slur against the Saxons? 

Against yourself even, not so Brit Bob, seeing that you too are a Saxon.

If you want to plumb the depths of fake news and propagation, you propergoose, look no further than your drunken lout, Churchill.

He was instructed by Lord R to drag the very reluctant empire into yet another war against your kith and kin, the Germans.

His reward? To be rescued from the streets of ignoble poverty, as he had squandered his inheritance on the stock market, just before the great crash.

Hitler wrote endless letters to Churchill suing for peace. The remain an unopened bundle in some museum.

In reply to The absolute best fake news…by BritBob

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eekastar Feb 2, 2018 5:33 AM Permalink

Dangerous but, as one may expect, poorly executed by Brussels.

Their list of fakenews sites & articles has drawed much attention that resulted in a cascade of rectifications and a lively debate on the subject of censorship.

And more ressentiment towards EU and its undemocratic fundaments.

To be continued :^)

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Dilluminati Feb 2, 2018 5:53 AM Permalink

This is all getting dystopian really fast.  Funny but the word dystopian isn't in the google fucking spell-checker.

Here is some other news out of Europe:

Porn websites in the UK will have to require all their users prove that they are 18 or older as new government laws come into force in April.   ok goes further..

If they don’t comply, sites could be fined £250,000 or up to 5% of their financial turnover – and could be be blocked completely.

The UK will become the first democratic country in the world to require users to prove their age to view adult content.

Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/27/people-wanting-to-watch-porn-will-soon-ha…

Ok and from across the pond:

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/864592/Kodi-blo…

There is now a ten-year crime (a law passed for streaming game of thrones)

Kodi shock - Arrests, fines, bans and now illegal streamers are now told ‘never come back’

And it gets better...

http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/uk-kodi-box-crackdown-illegal-stream…

John Whittingdale, the UK’s former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, is calling for a clampdown on the fully-loaded Kodi boxes used stream premium films, sporting events and TV shows for free.

The ministry of information has decreed there will be no other content that official ministry content!!  Or they will block it "completely" and they don't want a platform such as Kodi capable of providing content that isnt official ministry content to exist.

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/910360/Kodi-add…

and

http://www.techradar.com/news/kodi-box-crackdown-called-for-in-uk-use-b…

 

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Profile picture for user Dilluminati

Dilluminati  medium giraffe Feb 2, 2018 6:06 AM Permalink

I left kodi after the exodus crackdown, I have silicon dust tuners and sling orange.  Last night I'm watching WACO and in the middle of the fucking show got a disconnect, "no available streams try later" 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6040674/

My point is this, there is NO FUCKING CONTENT worth watching from these cocksuckers who demand money!   Who wants to watch re-runs?  There should be a fucking law against charging fucking money for re-runs! 

And Sling TV.. lets get fucking real here.. reliable it is not!  

I think it is amazing that the UK thinks that by decree they can control content on the internet, what I see instead is allot of legislation that controls or BLOCKS content on the internet.  

I think the only good that will come of it will be less ugly UK porn stars with bad teeth acting in porn!  

There she is: bad teeth sally.. Austin Powers bad teeth sally.. on the dole.. no dick to suck..out of business

 

In reply to Bullshit, the UK isn't a…by medium giraffe

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OverTheHedge  Dilluminati Feb 3, 2018 4:46 AM Permalink

There are now sufficient routers in cities in the UK that you could bypass the ISPs and just have a private mesh network. No need to involve authority at all. Everyone can do a bit of hosting (split off a portion of your hard drive to be allocated for network storage), and there is even a cryptocurrency solution to allow people to earn from running the system. http://www.meshcoin.io

You could be FREE! You could all share each others' content, stream from each other, set up trading sites and neighborhood porn sites and whatever else you wanted. If some nice neighbour plugged into the real internet, that would be available too. All you need is to actually make it happen. And there is where it falls down....

In reply to I left kodi after the exodus…by Dilluminati

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Panic Mode Feb 2, 2018 5:53 AM Permalink

I just don't express my opinion. I know the lefties are going to fall hard, very hard. I'll just let them eat their own poison. If they still survive that, then they may listen.

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Rocco May Feb 2, 2018 6:11 AM Permalink

Europe is a communist re-education camp and

shithole Germany ( s. Frankfurter School) is the center,

sponsored by Soros and by other jews.

Jewish Marxism  is the reason why wars and dictatorships have been taking place in Europe again and again.

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Heros  Rocco May Feb 2, 2018 8:40 AM Permalink

This is an archived, unrolled Twitter thread 1 of 5 or more by Know Your Enemy titled:

The Physical and Cultural Destruction of Germany

He goes into detail (some gruesome pictures) of the suffering of the Germany under Weimar and the lead upto WWII.  If you read all 5 threads (the others aren't archived yet) it paints a fascinating picture of how Germany was literally holocausted by the the tribe.  The true amount of murder, rape and suffering is astonishing, and it wasn't "shithole Germany" that did this.  

In reply to Europe is a communist re…by Rocco May

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xzandrax Feb 2, 2018 6:30 AM Permalink

ZH forgot to mention how the EU Digital Commissioner Mariya Gabriel will set up an expert group this autumn on fake news as one of the FIRST measures she is taking in the job. And this group will fight also against the euroscepticism. 

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