Psst! Want to know something interesting? Ah… Sorry. EU says no.
The insidious agenda of the EU autocrats to deny freedom of speech, affecting the UK
Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2021
An important Facts4EU.Org Saturday editorial on the public’s right to know it all
This article is about freedom of speech – something those of us living in the United Kingdom always used to take for granted. It is fair to say that the citizens of many (but not all) EU countries took the same view.
For the last two decades this has been slowly changing under our noses and the process is set to accelerate thanks to a little known EU Commission ‘voluntary’ initiative, called the “Code of Practice on Disinformation”, now set to become law.
But… But… The UK has left the EU, so what do we care?
Despite Brexit, and despite (most of) the United Kingdom having left the European Union, the EU still has the power to change our lives.
This applies to a great many aspects of our daily lives. In this case we are going to show you one example of this. It’s a subtle process, but this does not make it any the less toxic.
Let’s talk about ‘Hot Topic X’… or not
Imagine a new topic comes up and begins to pervade the public consciousness. Examples recently include COVID-19, vaccines, and of course ‘climate change’ which has been a topic which has been growing for years. For the purposes of this article let’s call the new area of interest ‘Hot Topic X’.
The BBC and others, always desperate to fill their yawning hours of 24 hour ‘news’ coverage, leap on the new topic. Being new, no-one knows much about it so they look for someone – anyone – who has written about this before. Typically this means relatively obscure academics who suddenly find themselves in demand. Flattered by the attention they are only too willing to go on television and talk.
Most people know that talking heads are one of the cheapest ways of filling airtime. Certainly it’s a lot cheaper than ‘journalists’ leaving their studios, going out, digging up a wide variety of news, and presenting filmed reports. Much cheaper to stick to the new Hot Topic X, bring some ‘experts’ into the studio, and encourage them to exaggerate the subject a little to maximise the audience.
Before you can say “They’re paying Andrew Marr HOW MUCH!?”, Hot Topic X has grown into a mini-industry, spawning ‘experts’ from think tanks and trade organisations, all pronouncing on the new subject. Then, instead of finding alternative views, the BBC vets interviewees in advance to ensure they are ‘on message’.
And hey presto, a new ‘orthodoxy’ has been created.
You want a balance of opinions on Hot Topic X? Sorry, dissent is no longer tolerated
You might be one of those people who would quite like to hear all sides of the argument being given equal prominence so you can form a judgement about Hot Topic X. You might even think this perfectly reasonable.
Unfortunately this is not possible any longer, because the agenda has been set. All the right people seem to be in agreement, so the only dissenting voice you might hear is from someone deliberately chosen to be less credible, or on the extreme end of the argument. And they can only appear if they are prepared to be interrupted by presenters every five seconds.
And so to the EU and how the EU Commission is changing a freedom we once took for granted
Have you heard about the EU Commission’s ‘Code of Practice on Disinformation’? No? Funny that, because this all started surfacing properly over three years ago in 2018, when the United Kingdom was still a member country.
In advance of this, the unelected autocrats of the EU were becoming concerned about freedom of speech, but not in a way in which they wanted to extend this – quite the reverse. In late 2017, “The Commission set up a High-Level Expert Group to advise on this matter.” The result was the embryonic ‘Code of Practice on Disinformation’.
The Code of Practice has so far been voluntary for online organisations, but the EU Commission has already announced that “The strengthened Code of Practice in 2021 will evolve towards a co-regulatory instrument as outlined in the Digital Services Act.” In other words the Code will become more restricting and it will shortly become law.
Who has signed up and why?
In an obvious effort to influence and mitigate policy and reduce the impact of even more draconian laws affecting their businesses, a wide range of the major online companies have signed up.
These include: Google, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Microsoft, and new signatories are set to join imminently including Vimeo, Clubhouse, and many more.
The important point to note is this: Global countries dominating our use of the internet are all acquiescing to the EU Code. No-one can seriously doubt that they will not apply the same policies to the use of the Internet in the United Kingdom, regardless of what laws are passed by the British Government.
The EU’s Code sounds reasonable, but look at what has been happening
If you read the EU’s Code, much of it sounds reasonable. The problem is what has been happening in practice. In the UK, many people have suddenly found themselves banned on Twitter and on Facebook. Others have found themselves ‘shadow banned’.
In many of these cases they were banned for simply expressing a point of view. It doesn’t matter whether you might have agreed or disagreed with this point of view. The fact is that some young person working for one of those organisations didn’t like what was being said and marked the poster as ‘breaking the code of conduct”.
The most famous example of this is the banning by Twitter of the democratically-elected, sitting President of the United States. Regardless of what anyone thinks about Donald Trump, for the President of the most powerful country in the World to be banned by one of the most important online platforms for not conforming to their ‘orthodox’ position is quite extraordinary.
It is worth pointing out that in many cases the banning of individuals was for saying things deemed unacceptable at the time, but which have now come to be accepted as being true – or at least possible or probable.
We can and must take a different road
We are at a crossroads. Some would say that we have already crossed the junction. One thing we can be certain of is that if we do not resist these totalitarian monoliths then we might as well pull our freedom car over to the side of the road and get on the next groupthink bus that comes along.
This is about orthodoxy (‘the party line’), homogeneity (‘groupthink’), and the suppression of dissent. For as long as we can, Facts4EU.Org will always fight these.
Do please help us with a donation today so we can carry on the fight at political and media levels.
Facts4EU.Org needs you today
We are a 'not for profit' team (we make a loss) and any donation goes towards the actual work, not plush London offices, lunch or taxi expenses, or other luxuries of some organisations.
We badly need more of our thousands of readers to donate. Could this be you, today? Maybe you've been thinking about it, but just haven't got around to doing it? If so, let us reassure you. It's quick and easy and we use two highly secure payment providers. And we do NOT ask you for further donations if you donate once - we just hope that you keep supporting us. Your donation stays anonymous unless you tell us otherwise.
Please don't assume that other people will keep us going - we don't receive enough to survive and we need your help today. Could you help us?
Most of our readers are well-informed and appreciate our fact-based articles, presented in a way you won't see anywhere else. If you value reports like the one above, please help our work with a donation. We have far more to do in researching, publishing, campaigning and lobbying Parliament than we have in terms of the financial resources to fulfil these tasks. We badly need funding to continue - we rely 100% on public donations from readers like you.
If you believe in a fully-free, independent, and sovereign United Kingdom, please make a donation now. It’s quick, secure, and confidential, and you can use one of the links below or you can use our Donations page here. You will receive a personal, friendly ‘thank you’ from a member of our team within 24 hours. Thank you for reading this.
[ Sources: EU Commission ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sat 02 Oct 2021
Please scroll down to COMMENT on the above article.
And don't forget to actually post your message after you have previewed it!
Since before the EU Referendum, Brexit Facts4EU.Org
has been the most prolific researcher and publisher of Brexit facts in the world.
Supported by MPs, MEPs, & other groups, our work has impact.
We think facts matter. Please donate today, so that we can continue to ensure a clean Brexit is finally delivered.
Paypal Users Only - Choose amount first