Saturday, June 23, 2018 by JD Heyes
About 25 years ago when the Internet as we know it was just getting started, many of us independent journalists predicted that it would grow into a free-speech behemoth that would dramatically undermine the biased corporate media’s vice-grip hold on information.
And by any measure you want to use, we were right.
But uninhibited free speech like our founders envisioned is a threat to the authoritarian Left, and now they’re actively looking for ways to regain control over information by penalizing journalistic operations that flourish outside of their realm of control.
Leftists in the European Union voted last week to impose a series of Internet controls that would end much of the free-thinking, free-speaking Web as it currently exists. In particular, the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs approved very controversial measures as part of the EU’s Copyright Reform effort: The establishment of a “link tax” and a “meme ban.”
Under Articles 11 and 13, the EU would create a virtual censorship machine that would likely spell the end to news aggregation sites like The Drudge Report and scores of others — all on the premise of controlling criticism of corporate/establishment media.
As reported by The Next Web, Article 11 is the “link tax.” It forces anyone who uses small portions of online journalistic content to first obtain a license from the publisher, “essentially outlawing current business models of most aggregators and news apps.” It’s also likely to threaten the hyperlink itself and give outsized power and control to publishers who don’t want to be linked to criticism — at the cost of an open exchange of ideas.
Meanwhile, Article 13 would create “censorship machines” making “platforms responsible for monitoring user behavior to stop copyright infringements, but basically means only huge platforms will have the resources to let users comment or share content,” TNW noted. Critics of the measure say it will lead to broad censorship by threatening free speech through parody, satire, and even protest videos.
Now, the committee’s vote does not mean that the new measures are set to become law. Rather, the articles’ passage establishes the European parliament’s position on those issues before beginning the legislative phase. Still, adopting articles and positions is considered a strong indicator of what’s to come. (Related: See REAL news while it’s still being aggregated at Censored.news.)
TNW noted that there is one way to alter the expected outcome:
Plenary is the European Parliament’s tool to bring matters out of committee and put up for a vote in the Parliament itself, i.e. have all 751 MEPs vote instead of only 25. But there needs to be enough support in Parliament for this to happen, so opposers have already started campaigning for a plenary session.
As noted by Neon Nettle, part of what’s driving this effort is a desire to force media behemoths Google and Facebook to share more of their revenue. Both are major news aggregators — and virtual money machines. Broke European nations are looking at these two American-based corporations as a means of generating revenues.
But obviously, there will be many unintended consequences too, as a result of this initiative. Besides just the obvious censorship others noted that there are no specifics in the proposed articles that contain any penalties for false claims of copyright ownership. Also, there is a mandate that copyright filters “must accept copyright claims in bulk, allowing rights holders to upload millions of works at once in order to claim their copyright and prevent anyone from posting them,” Neon Nettle reported.
It’s a disaster, but yet another one concocted by authoritarian Leftists who hate the free exchange of political, social, and cultural ideas and want to not only dominate information but control what we can (and cannot) see.
And President Trump is the Nazi?
Read about other acts of censorship at Censorship.news.
J.D. Heyes is also editor-in-chief of The National Sentinel.