EU officials are scrambling to defend their social media space against ‘free speech autocrats’
By Matthew Budge, who worked in Russia for L’Histoire magazine, the Russian film magazine Céance, and as a columnist for Le Courrier de Russie. He is the author of the book Le cochère rasse (‘The Russian Nightmare’).
Following the purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk and the recent reactions from Brussels bureaucrats, it has become clear just how far the EU is willing to go to maintain its own bubble of political agenda.
Just as understanding the work of Kant requires a special dictionary and its own understanding of certain terms and concepts, understanding the language of the European Union requires a special dictionary. And the first entry to look for is ‘F – Freedom’. Its synonym ‘Liberty’ is the first word in the motto of France. And with the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk and the billionaire’s desire to restore total freedom of speech on the platform, we have a new opportunity to try to decrypt it.
commenting on the French-American partnership during his speech At the White House on 1 December, French President Emmanuel Macron said, “Our two countries are sisters in the fight for freedom.” The freedom of the Chinese people facing the zero-covid policy of the Chinese Communist Party, the freedom of the Uyghurs in the west of China, the freedom of the Russians opposing the Kremlin are quite consistent with the suddenly emerging rhetoric of the EU. Freedom for Iranian women to be like Western women… We could go on forever with this list, as it is constantly changing, adapting itself to the context of geopolitics.
As a concept, freedom of speech is really an illusion, as it, like everything else in the world, is governed by the balance of power. The European Union proved this hard-to-accept fact to be true when it immediately banned RT and Sputnik following the start of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. And there is no doubt that this threadbare concept has been used in geopolitics for ages, setting up amusing if not pathetic double standards.
But double standards aren’t really the issue here. What is at stake is pure logic. Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for the internal market, spoke to Elon Musk to clarify Brussels’ point of view. And then, “I welcome Elon Musk’s statements on his intention to make Twitter 2.0 DSA ready [Digital Services Act], I am glad to hear that he has read it carefully and regards it as a sensible approach to be implemented on a world-wide basis. But it should also be clear that there is still enormous work ahead, as Twitter must implement transparent user policies, significantly strengthen content moderation, and protect freedom of speech from disinformation with determination. Have to deal with and limit targeted advertising.
Breton should give every EU citizen some direction, or a guidebook, to navigate the logic of the EU here. “to strengthen content moderation and protect freedom of expression” is like saying “Let’s have lunch together; You are free to order whatever I ask you to eat.”
These unelected bureaucrats threatened Sanctions Musk’s newly acquired company in the EU if it refused to comply with their rules, and the mainstream media have found a new way to wage war against those who don’t agree with all of their narratives and banter: words. use of ‘agree to autocracy, While Kasturi herself wears the label of ‘free speech absolutist’, pundits are using it as a way of firing those they cannot dismiss as ‘conspiracy theorists’. In this context, ‘autocratic’ rhymes with ‘terrorist’, ‘extremist’, or whatever else you can imagine could be a threat.
Noted Toronto professor Jordan Peterson has repeatedly argued that free speech implies that one must be challenged and even outraged, a condition for dialectics and progress. This is pure common sense. No more in Europe. During the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to promote their quarantine policies, some European governments said it was necessary “Limit liberty to protect liberty.” Now, they have to limit freedom of speech to protect freedom of expression – an argument that may leave many speechless.
Things become clear when one looks at what should be moderated. Dangerous scientific fallacies, threats, calls for hatred and violence? Yes, but not enough. It depends on which side of the political agenda you find yourself on. In some cases (Ukraine crisis, COVID-19, climate change), ‘unacceptable’ ideas usually come under intense social pressure and do not benefit from publicity in the media, even if they escape social media moderation.
Then there are issues that may not even be discussed openly: the EU’s collective migration politics and the LGBTQ+ agenda, both promoted by the authorities. To say that they are ‘promoted by the authorities’ is no understatement. BBC in 2012 Cited Peter Sutherland, former chairman of Goldman Sachs and UN Special Representative for International Migration, speaking as the EU “National unity must be weakened.” As these issues directly concern individuals, it is quite easy to declare a threat to the national or supranational order as well as stir up emotion – without bothering with scientific arguments – to label alternative views as racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic. should be repressed as… well, anti-human, or, as Justin Trudeau would say, Anti-people.
After dealing with Donald Trump and his national-centric politics, the EU (along with the Democrats in the US) now faces ‘autocratic’ Elon Musk, who has rehabilitated the former US president on the networks he took over. He quickly decided to move on and impose his vision on her. Clearly not fast enough, as Musk has a few aces up his sleeve. Musk to release ‘The Twitter Files’ on December 3 Through Journalist Matt Taibbi officially reveals what anyone with half a brain saw long ago: Twitter was favoring the woke side of the political spectrum. Journalist Glenn Greenwald was appearing The alarm about this ten years ago.
So, what does ‘freedom’ mean in the minds of Brussels bureaucrats? It is the freedom of the European Union as well as its allied media and followers to advance their overarching agenda of socio-cultural revolution and impose it on opponents who do not want to hear about this anthropological change – “No Matter the Cost,” As Macron would say.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of RT.
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