CENSUUR

by Douglas Murray

The German Chancellor was not interested in the reinforcement of Europe’s external borders, the re-erection of its internal borders, the institution of a workable asylum vetting system and the repatriation of people who had lied to gain entry into Europe. Instead, Chancellor Merkel wanted to know how Facebook’s founder could help her restrict the free speech of Europeans, on Facebook and on other social media.

Then, on May 31, the European Union announced a new online speech code to be enforced by four major tech companies, including Facebook and YouTube.

It was clear from the outset that Facebook has a definitional problem as well as a political bias in deciding on these targets. What is Facebook’s definition of ‘racism’? What is its definition of ‘xenophobia’? What, come to that, is its definition of ‘hate speech’?

Of course the EU is a government – and an unelected government at that – so its desire not just to avoid replying to its critics but to criminalise their views and ban their contrary expressions is as bad as the government of any country banning or criminalising the expression of opinion which is not adulatory of the government.

People must speak up — must speak up now, and must speak up fast — in support of freedom of speech before it is taken away from them. It is, sadly, not an overstatement to say that our entire future depends on it.

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