Censorship: Made by Germany
An age of relative freedom took a major setback on August 25, the day the European Union’s draconian Digital Services Act (dsa) went into force. In the future, this measure could be used to ban articles such as this one. But much more than banning “disinformation” and “hate speech,” the law is set to ban any illegal content, services or activities. While the dsa is combating some filth and corruption American companies allow and promote, it is also setting the scene for a system of absolute state control over the Internet.
As it is, you cannot trust media outlets nor Internet search engines. If you tried to find reliable information about the covid vaccine in 2020 and early 2021, you couldn’t. The things you read online are often biased against the truth. Common knowledge, often found in old printed books, is not accessible online. Critics are banned and deplatformed. The dsa not only encourages such behavior but fines platforms up to 6 percent of global revenue if they don’t censor the unwanted. For X (formerly Twitter), this would cost hundreds of millions of dollars; for Meta’s Facebook, billions.
But the regulation does more than ban “disinformation” from “very large online platforms and of very large online search engines.”
The regulation reads “‘illegal content’ should be defined broadly to cover information relating to illegal content, products, services and activities.” Providers “should, upon obtaining actual knowledge or awareness of illegal activities or illegal content, act expeditiously to remove or to disable access to that content.”
The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (isd) helps inform governments and platforms about “disinformation.” In 2022, it reported on an example in France that would fall under the EU’s new regulation. At the time, France prevented people from taking part in society unless they were vaccinated and had a corresponding health pass. Some worked together online to create fake health passes. isd claims that the new EU regulation would require Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram and Snapchat to stop these “illegal” activities.
A similar case could be made about upholding the integrity of elections. Let’s say you have seen some evidence that the election was stolen and you want to share your observations and form groups to protect the democratic process. If you try to do that online, you could get censored by online platforms by request of the state.
The regulation also seeks to combat “dark patterns” designed to manipulate shoppers into buying things they may not need or want. While the United States’ big tech industry is certainly corrupt, the EU may not be altruistic in regulating this evil practice either. Cutting the sales of U.S. competitors will undoubtedly benefit Europe’s own industry.
Another regulation relates to children’s Internet use. The Guardian notes: “For parents, unable to police everything their child sees, this cluster of rules is probably the single most important. Platforms will be prohibited from targeting children with advertising based on their personal data or cookies.”
Prohibiting platforms from targeting children sounds good. But if you think your child will now be safe online, you may soon have a child with tune to state propaganda and hostile to common sense and truth.
The Guardian concluded that platforms will be “legally accountable for everything from fake news to manipulation of shoppers, Russian propaganda and criminal activity including child abuse.”
While that certainly sounds good, “fake news” can be defined as anything the state doesn’t like, and “Russian propaganda” can be defined as legitimate concerns about the state of our democracy. The danger of the regulation is in the growing power of the regulator.
If there is one thing the European Union is leading in, it is regulation. Online platforms with global reach often adjust their algorithms and rules according to the largest and strictest regulators. Unless you want to lose the European market or develop a specific set of algorithms for each region you operate in, you simply make the EU’s regulation your global regulation.
Regulations are also setting standards that others follow. For example, the EU’s data regulation laws have been copied and adjusted for the state of California. The EU’s regulations on artificial intelligence, while not yet in force, are also seen as the standard to follow. The EU is seeking to get control of the internet—and the most powerful EU country is Germany.
In 2019, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry addressed the corruption of U.S. tech companies and warned about Germany’s response. “We must put this issue in the context of Bible prophecy and history,” he wrote. “The German-led EU is behaving the way the Holy Roman Empire has always behaved. Germany is once again seeking to impose its will on the world.”
The Bible has a lot to say about Germany’s reach for global power. To learn more, read “Germany Is Taking Control of the Internet.”