(NaturalNews) The big tech companies that have cornered the search and media markets now want to corner the market on permissible speech – that is, speech their CEOs and founders decide is acceptable – while working to ban that which they have dubbed objectionable. What’s ironic is that the companies planning this upcoming assault on free speech were born and bred in the U.S.A.
As reported by Breitbart News, Facebook, Twitter and Google have decided to act as force multipliers for German law enforcement authorities, agreeing to delete “hate speech” within 24 hours, in what many view as a last-ditch push to silence all public dissent over the massive wave of Syrian refugee migration into Europe’s economic and geographic heartland.
As further noted by The Associated Press:
“In a joint statement Tuesday, the Justice Ministry and the three companies said that it will become easier for users and anti-racism groups to flag hate speech.
“The content will be examined by specialist teams and removed within a day if possible.
“Justice Minister Heiko Maas said the measures weren’t intended to curtail free speech but rather to ensure German law is applied online.
“Germany has strict laws against incitement to racial hatred, a reaction to the country’s Nazi past.”
The way of the authoritarian
The coming crackdown, Breitbart News added, comes amid reported concerns over “racist abuse” that was posted to social media sites following German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees to enter the country – a move seen as highly controversial among German citizens.
Breitbart News reported further:
“Specialist teams will be used to track down, examine, and remove offending posts, and the process is not to take more than 24 hours.
“After World War Two, all Nazi-related imagery and material was made illegal irrespective of context in Germany. All Nazi-related swastikas and salutes were replaced in the Wolfenstein video game remake, owing to this law.”
So, Nazi imagery is outlawed in Germany – most reasonable people understand this. But to take the extra step of employing the world’s biggest social media companies and using “specialist teams” to “track down, examine and remove offending posts” is plain Orwellian, to say the least.
And this is how the authoritarian operates: Under the guise of morality and legal cover, they will seek to, in this case, regulate “speech” that faceless, nameless government bureaucrats deem “offensive” and, therefore, impermissible. If Merkel’s government was only doing this in the context of enforcing German law regarding the display or use of Nazi imagery that would be one thing, but from all measures it appears as though this effort is being launched, at least in part, to ban criticism of the country’s pro-Syrian migrant policy.
How will this play out among the German citizenry? We are already seeing some signs of that.
As reported by the UK Telegraph:
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced pressure from her own conservatives on Monday to change course on her open-door refugee policy after an affront by the leader of her Bavarian allies drove up tensions in her ruling coalition.”
CNN noted further in October, that many Germans feared becoming “strangers in our own country”:
“Every Monday evening in Dresden, thousands gather in front of the city’s Opera House. They carry German flags and sing nationalist songs with one goal: to stop refugees and migrants from coming to Germany.”
And the UK’s Independent added that nearly half of Germans say Merkel’s “welcome” policy is wrong, adding:
“Even moderates are accusing the German Chancellor of going too far, too fast with refugees, the ‘welcome culture’ is evaporating and border transit camps are planned to send back unwanted migrants.”
It’s not clear whether Germans who are opposed to Merkel’s policies will win the day, but one thing is certain: They’ll be less able to complain about it online without fear that such criticism will be criminalized.
Written by J. D. Heyes
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