We are now, as an advanced culture, moving into a phase of the most pernicious and regressive restrictions on free speech since we fought battles in the 1960s and 1970s to establish those freedoms. Oh I know that's been the cry ever since when, mostly from those with extremes of views that no-one missed very much. 'Spiked', which hides under our spoof Guardian offers, has long advocated a pure freedom that would allow anyone from kiddie fiddlers to murderous Islamists to post anything, but most of us want some restrictions. And that's the problem. First, we're a European nation but there's no homogeneity in the law -
In France, the release of a video made by M Macron's chum Benjamin Griveaux of an act of masturbation has angered the énarque elites; it should be the right of all French politicians to send Onanistic videos to vulnerable young women. Or maybe to their grandmothers. What has annoyed them in particular is the extent of internet anonymity that allowed the spread of the material; they want to include measures to identify wanking-video re-posters in a proposed raft of anti hate-speech legislation currently going through parliament. However, as Politico EU has reported, the draft French legislation is already in trouble with the EU, who consider it incompatible with EU law.
In Germany, legislators are set to pass laws requiring internet companies to report offending posts to the police. As the FT reports
Under the planned new law, which is the toughest of its kind in the world, social media platforms will not only have to delete certain kinds of hate speech but also flag the content to the Office of the Federal Criminal Police (BKA). Posts that companies will be required to report include those indicating preparations for a terrorist attack and the “formation of criminal and terrorist groups”, as well as those featuring instances of racial incitement and the distribution of child pornography. The networks would also have to give the BKA “the last IP address and port number most recently assigned to the user profile”.However, given that defamation is also an imprisonable offence in German law, it is easy to imagine a tweak or two to include insults aimed at politicians and public officials - the law stands as
If US servers (and, less likely, UK servers - our civil servants love the German defamation laws) are immune to the new rafts of Euro Censorship legislation, what option does that leave for French and German governments except to restrict access to social media in the same way that China does? Are Euro versions of Weibo, WeChat and YouKu the future?