Censorship of the Internet has been getting worse for years, but it seems we just crossed a threshold which is going to take things to a whole new level.
On August 25th, a new law known as the “Digital Services Act” went into effect in the European Union. Under this new law, European bureaucrats will be able to order big tech companies to censor any content that is considered to be “illegal”, “disinformation” or “hate speech”. That includes content that is posted by users outside of the European Union, because someone that lives in the European Union might see it.
In the past, there have been times when governments have requested that big tech companies take down certain material, but now this new law will give government officials the power to force big tech companies to take down any content that they do not like. Any big tech companies that choose not to comply will be hit with extremely harsh penalties.
Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
In addition to “illegal content” and “hate speech”, the Digital Services Act also applies to “hoaxes” and any material that is considered to be “disinformation”.
These new content rules are so vague that they could apply to just about anything…..And that is precisely what they want.
From this point forward, if you post something that they do not like, they will have the power to have it taken down. Even if you don’t live in the European Union, they can have your content taken down, because someone in the European Union might see it.
So who will be doing the censoring?
Well, it is being reported that “hundreds of unelected EU bureaucrats will decide what constitutes disinformation and instruct Big Tech firms to censor it”…
Under this Orwellian regime, a team of hundreds of unelected EU bureaucrats will decide what constitutes disinformation and instruct Big Tech firms to censor it. The firms themselves, faced with reputational risk and financial penalties, will have little choice other than to comply.
Needless to say, the Internet is never going to be the same after this.
The online platforms affected are Alibaba AliExpress, Amazon Store, Apple AppStore,� Booking.com, Facebook, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Shopping, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, X (listed as Twitter), Wikipedia, YouTube, the European clothing retailer Zalando, Bing and Google Search.
A firm that does not comply with the law could face a complete ban in Europe or fines running up to 6% of its global revenue. Last month, X/Twitter said it was on track to generate $3bn (£2.4bn) in revenue. A fine of 6% would be the equivalent of £144m.
For many years, the Internet was one of the last bastions for free speech.
But now everything has changed. Clearly this is going to make it much more difficult to share the truth with a world that desperately needs it.
These are such dark times, and they are getting darker with each passing day.