90 Miles From Tyranny : Europe Comes Up With Perfectly Orwellian Responses to ‘Fake News’

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Europe Comes Up With Perfectly Orwellian Responses to ‘Fake News’

In their zeal to stamp out “fake news,” European governments are turning toward Orwellian solutions that are worse than the disease.

The European Commission recently created a 39-member panelto explore avenues to eliminate fake news. On Twitter, it announced that it seeks to find a “balanced approach” to protecting free speech and making sure citizens get “reliable information.”

We need to find a balanced approach between the freedom of expression, media pluralism and a citizens' right to access diverse and reliable information.

This follows in the footsteps of individual governments in Europe that have decided that the way to defeat fake news is to have the government decide what the truth is.

Germany recently enacted a law that allows the government to censor social media and fine related companies that won’t take down what government officials deem fake news or hate speech.

France isn’t far behind. French President Emmanuel Macronproposed a ban on fake news, especially around election time, “in order to protect democracy.”

And on Tuesday, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announced the creation of a commission to respond to fake news called the National Security Communications Unit.

A spokesperson for the May government said: “Digital communications is constantly evolving and we are looking at ways to meet the challenging media landscape by harnessing the power of new technology for good.”

The key problem with these proposals is obvious, as the ...

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