Italy Urges Europe To Begin Censoring Free Speech On The Internet
by Tyler Durden
Dec 30, 2016
First it was the US, then Germany blamed much of what is wrong in society on “fake news”, and not, say, a series of terrible decisions made by politicians. Now it is Italy’s turn to call for an end to “fake news”, which in itself would not be troubling, however, the way Giovanni Pitruzzella, head of the Italian competition body, demands the European Union “cracks down” on what it would dub “fake news” is nothing short of a total crackdown on all free speech, and would give local governments free reign to silence any outlet that did not comply with the establishment propaganda.
In an interview with the FT, Pitruzzella said the regulation of false information on the internet was best done by the state rather than by social media companies such as Facebook, an approach taken previously by Germany, which has demanded that Facebook end “hate speech” and has threatened to find the social network as much as €500K per “fake” post.
Pitruzzella, head of the Italian competition body since 2011, said “EU countries should set up independent bodies — co-ordinated by Brussels and modeled on the system of antitrust agencies — which could quickly label fake news, remove it from circulation and impose fines if necessary.”
In other words, a series of unelected bureaucrats, unaccountable to anyone, would sit down and between themselves decide what is and what isn’t “fake news”, and then, drumroll, “remove it from circulation.” On the other hand, coming one week after Obama give Europe the green light to engage in any form of censorship and halt of free speech that it desires, when the outgoing US president voted into law the “Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act”, it should come as no surprise that a suddenly emboldened Europe is resorting to such chilling measures.
So with Europe on the verge of rolling out unbridled censorship, here is the strawman used to justify it.
“Post-truth in politics is one of the drivers of populism and it is one of the threats to our democracies,” Pitruzzella told the FT. “We have reached a fork in the road: we have to choose whether to leave the internet like it is, the wild west, or whether it needs rules that appreciate the way communication has changed. I think we need to set those rules and this is the role of the public sector.”
Translation: it will soon be up to Brussles to decide what content on the Internet is appropriate for broad European consumption, because unless a bureaucrat intervenes “fake news” will lead to even more populism and not, say, years of failed political reform, and central bank decisions.