The E.U. Orders Global Censorship of Comments Calling Austrian Politician a 'Corrupt Oaf'

Is there room for the entire world on this slippery slope?


Whatever you do, don't call Austrian Green Party politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek a "corrupt oaf" or "lousy traitor of the people" on Facebook. If you do, the European Union (E.U.) has ruled that Facebook can be forced to take your comments down, regardless of where you are in the world.

In all likelihood, you have no idea who Glawischnig-Piesczek even is, but you should definitely worry about today's ruling and how it impacts your ability to express your opinions about politicians online.

I blogged about this case back in June when the E.U. was first considering it. Glawischnig-Piesczek is a retired member of the European Parliament from Austria. In 2016, an Austrian magazine published a story online about her support for welfare for refugees. Apparently, one Facebook user did not appreciate her position and called her the terms mentioned above and declared the Greens to be a "fascist party."

These are all crudely expressed opinions, and they're obviously just opinions. Glawischnig-Piesczek, however, objected to these characterizations and asked Facebook to delete the comments. Facebook refused. So Glawischnig-Piesczek sued under Austria's defamation laws and won. The case then went up to the European Union to determine whether she had the power to demand that Facebook censor these "defamatory" comments from appearing on Facebook just in Austria, or worldwide.

Today, the European Court of Justice ruled that not only did Facebook have to take these posts down worldwide, it also has to remove content that duplicates or repeats any statements that have been deemed defamatory.

So, that means that if you're sharing this story, or The New York Times news coverage, and those quoted insults show up in the sharing text, Austria might force Facebook to take it down.

Amazingly, Glawischnig-Piesczek declared that this ruling is "a historic success for human rights against web giants."

It is nothing of the sort. This is political censorship of criticism against her. It wasn't a "web giant" who called her an oaf. It was a citizen of her country who disagreed with her position, and she didn't like it.

This is exactly why we need to resist folks like Sens. Josh Hawleys (R-Mo.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who want the government to decide what social media companies can and must prohibit on their platforms. This is inevitably where it will end up: censoring speech that critiques those in power.

Read the ruling (which, notably, does not describe the defamatory statements in any way) here. It cannot be appealed. So whatever you do, don't try to make statements criticizing Glawischnig-Piesczek trend on social media. That would be very, very naughty of you.

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  1. See!! The Brits are right!!

    1. Which Brits? The remainers or the exiters?

      1. It's "remoaners". Get the nomenclature right.

        1. Ah .... remoaners and exciters, eh?

  2. but you should definitely worry about today's ruling and how it impacts your ability to express your opinions about politicians online.

    If you live in Europe, yeah, that sucks, and I'd oppose it. But even still, I am not sure this is such a problem. It's the Achilles heel of multinational corporate social media networks--they're going to pander to the lowest common denominator of speech restrictions in order to maximize market share. Eventually, this restriction will make the platforms less pleasant to use and open a competitive opportunity for a platform that might be either decentralized or centralized but willing to simply not operate in the oppressive jurisdictions.

    1. willing to simply not operate in the oppressive jurisdictions

      Europe? The 5 Eyes? The G10? You'll totally be free to express your opinions from your own platform on the moon!

      1. Well, at least for the medium term, I don't think the US is going to be enforcing things like this. And servers can always be located in jurisdictions without strong law enforcement, or as I said, can be decentralized in a way that would be difficult to censor.

        1. ...assuming FB would want to go through the effort when they can make the government happy by enforcing those idiotic rules here as well.

          1. Facebook will hopefully wither due to their lameness, and a competitor with fortitude will arise

    2. ""the European Union (E.U.) has ruled that Facebook can be forced to take your comments down, regardless of where you are in the world.""

      Looks like it sucks even if you don't live in Europe.

      1. The European Union has no jurisdiction over The United State of America. No one does. Our military sees to that.

        1. Facebook has offices in Europe. If they want to keep them, they have to do what they say

          1. Seizing the assets of a US corporation isn't a good idea. Trump's the kinda guy who'd retaliate against European companies. And he'd do it with a big smile on his face.

            1. I'm sure if he did Boehm will write endless tropes about how this is so bad and destroying the economy. And Squirrelly will go on about freedom of association, backed up by ChemJeff and Chipper.

              1. Facebook imploding!

  3. Austrian Green Party politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek is a "corrupt oaf".

    1. The photo describes her as an ORF ORF. I don't know speak Austrian though.

      1. No speaka English good too.

    2. Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek is not just a “corrupt oaf” but a fascist fuckwit slaver to boot. Fuck Austria, fuck the EU.

      1. It figures it's Austria, it isn't like the have a history of producing fascist oafs.

      2. ditto. fuck the cunt.

    3. And a lousy traitor of the people as well.

    4. I just post that exact thing to Facebook with a link to this article.

  4. Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek

    Someone really needs to teach parents that names are supposed to mean something. Just taking tiles out of the scrabble box is no way to go through life.

    1. That is Austrian for "son of corrupt oaf"

    2. Who is this Eva Braunschweiger-Pilzener and why should I care?

      1. She’s apparently a corrupt oaf from Australia,

        1. Haha. Australia, Austria, same diff, right? If it ain’t the mighty USA, who cares?

          “America, fuck yeah!”

      2. She's a silent brown beer drinker. Not to be trusted.

  5. Wait. But it's TRUE!!

    1. All the more reason to censor it if they can't dispute it with facts

  6. But will Facebook actually comply? Well of course they will! When statists say "Jump", Zuckerberg says "How high?"

    Politicians and corrupt oaf judges are making these demands because they know Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. will dutifully grovel before them.

    1. What's the alternative? It depends on how far you think the EU would escalate this. They could easily escalate to banning these companies from doing business in the EU. That's the real issue at play here. Telling the EU Court to fuck off isn't good business sense unless you think that you could gain the support of the populace. But since the EU Court doesn't answer to the peons, even popular support wouldn't matter much.

      The EU is an awful awful system of government.

      1. Let them try. How many people do you think followed this case in the EU? I'm gonna guess very few outside of Austria. Nobody followed it in the USA. It's not like Facebook has much in the way of assets out in the EU for them to seize, and if they ban FB, people are gonna want to know why they can't gain access to their social media anymore. When they find out that its because corrupt politicians couldn't handle schoolyard insults, I'm gonna guess the anger will be directed at the corrupt politicians instead of the platform refusing to conform to ridiculous demands.

        1. One would think...

          But the EU has a history of noticing when US companies start making a lot of money. Their response is usually to start issuing billion dollar "fines" to grab some of that sweet, sweet cash.

          So that is probably their end game if Facebook fails to comply. Simply fining them a quarter's worth of revenue.

          It sure would be nice if Facebook told the EU to pound sand on this. Google fought China for a couple of years before they came to an accomodation. Now everyone just plays ball. The EU is way out of line on this stuff... it is a shame that nobody is willing to risk being the nail by standing up.

        2. Facebook has considerable assets in the EU for them to seize, unfortunately. That's going to diminish a bit after the most haunted Brexit, but it's still not the kind of losses that they want to take without a good reason. And "principle" is not a good reason for a major global corporation (for good reason! I agree with Uncle Milty on this). So until (or more likely, unless) a substantial market opportunity shows up whereby they can position themselves well by being "heroic defenders of free speech" against the overreach of the EU, you should expect them to knuckle under and take their fines and censorship with a relative minimum of fuss. After all, the ridiculous regulations the EU has saddled everyone with pretty much guarantee they'll be kings of the media hill in Europe forever, so it's not like they're not gaining something under the status quo.

      2. Seems to me the issue is that the EU thinks they can force facebook to remove things regardless of location of origin.

  7. Would that include calling her a sheep fuc....?

  8. Austrian Green Party politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek is a corrupt oaf and a lousy traitor of the people.
    Austrian Green Party politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek is a lousy traitor of the people and a corrupt oaf.
    Austrian Green Party politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek is a corrupt oaf and a lousy traitor of the people.
    Austrian Green Party politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek is a lousy traitor of the people and a corrupt oaf.
    Austrian Green Party politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek is a corrupt oaf and a lousy traitor of the people.
    Austrian Green Party politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek is a lousy traitor of the people and a corrupt oaf.
    Austrian Green Party politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek is a corrupt oaf and a lousy traitor of the people.
    Austrian Green Party politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek is a lousy traitor of the people and a corrupt oaf.

  9. So whatever you do, don't try to make statements criticizing Glawischnig-Piesczek trend on social media. That would be very, very naughty of you.

    I see what you did there, Scott. I've obliged and reposted this nonsense on Facebook. Lets see what happens! ^_-

    1. I want to see if we can get #CorruptOafsForCensorship to trend.

  10. It was just an opinion that she was a fascist, then she used the police power of government to silence said opinion. Now it is a fact she is a fascist.

    1. Although I'd argue that the court and EU government is the real fascist power here. Just because some kook sues is no reason to jump behind them and make their wishes a reality.

  11. "This is exactly why we need to resist folks like Sens. Josh Hawleys (R-Mo.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who want the government to decide what social media companies can and must prohibit on their platforms."

    Hawley didn't want to do anything of the sort. Hawley wants them not to prohibit things on their platform. He doesn't want the platforms to take down people calling someone a "corrupt oaf" if they disagree with that insult. Hawley wants to leave that up and have them be open to liability if they don't.
    Hawley's plan of them remaining neutral is bogus because that's purely subjective, but he doesn't want to control what they allow and what they prohibit anymore than the law already does.

    1. But giving the government such authority is bound to slip farther when someone with less noble* intentions has power, which is inevitable.

      * assuming hawley's intentions are noble in the first place

    2. That is where it starts just like all "common sense" laws. Give them an inch and they will hang you with it. Or has Josh Hawley somehow figured a way to reel in the regulators who will write the law once it is has passed? If he would apply that solution to our current regulatory state I may trust him, until then its just more big government to be used against the people.

      1. I'm going to go out on a limb and say Hawley didn't think his plan through and just wanted to get something rolling. When "hate" or "violent speech" is saying "men aren't women" it's impossible to expect neutrality.

    3. Incorrect, bud. Hawley wants them to lose their section 230 protections if they fail to be "content neutral." This results in indirect censorship, as without section 230 protections they'd have to thoroughly scrub any comments or other user generated content to avoid liability, or far more likely, do away with them altogether.

      1. Or they could just actually be content neutral. Reason doesn't have a problem with it.

  12. FB should tell them to f off but obviously the money is too important to them. However if they did say no and the country shut the web service off maybe the people would say no you can't but they won't since all people are sheep now sheep

  13. Of course she's not a corrupt oaf, it says right there on the microphone she's a corrupt 'orf'. Which I think is Australian for "dunce". She's not smart enough to be an oaf.

  14. i'd go with "crazed divorcee" before "oaf"

  15. This is exactly why we need to resist folks like Sens. Josh Hawleys (R-Mo.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who want the government to decide what social media companies can and must prohibit on their platforms.

    Except Hawley's proposal is intended specifically to say that Facebook can't pick and choose who can be called a corrupt oaf without being identified as a publisher. That's different from forbidding people from calling people corrupt oafs. It's saying that if Facebook decides to voluntarily take down someone calling Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek a corrupt oaf, it has to be a uniform standard and not something that it does for corrupt oafs like Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek and not her opponents. The alternative is that they can play the role of publisher and call anyone they want a corrupt oaf, and face libel and defamation law.

    1. Hawley's proposal is intended specifically to make it the government's business. All the twists in the world can't disguise that.

    2. Then they can just scan private messages, find something racist or sexist, and then ban the account for that TOS violation. Anything can be a TOS violation.
      They can also make it so the content you see is ONLY from a friend. They can claim they are doing this for privacy reasons. Then there are bubbles that can be fed propaganda without interference.
      It's just best not to use any of these platforms. They aren't needed and only serve to hurt you.

  16. Corrupt oaf proves she's a corrupt oaf by trying to censor everyone from calling her a corrupt oaf

  17. Serious question, why is it considered brave and beautiful when the tech giants pulled out of China rather than buckle under the authoritarian regime, but not considered cowardly and weak to knuckle under to the EUs anti-freedom authoritarianism?

    1. Same reason why companies doing business in Arabia are BAD while those doing business in China are good.

      Truthfully, it was a good thing to not buckle under China and lose money. Shame that level of guts is now lacking.

  18. "Is there room for the entire world on this slippery slope?"

    Oh, heck yeah, there's room.
    After all, just look at all that room in Antarctica.

  19. So I took a look at the NY Times article on this (I like to read the comments of different sites to try and get a feeling for the general opinion) and you wouldn't believe the idiots posting there. The majority are fine with this because how dare FB try to make a profit. And when a few folks tried to be the voice of reason, they were told by the rest that, no no no, you see its different when THEY say stuff about Trump, because that's legitimate criticism. But when its other people doing it, its defamation, and don't they know the difference?

    These asshats literally think their shit smells better.

    1. In fairness to the asshats in the NYT comments section, I think there's an entire culture of trolls who hang out there specifically to make them look absurdly bad.

  20. Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek is BOTH a corrupt oaf AND a lousy traitor of the people!

    Suck on that one, European Union Nanny State buttholes!

  21. It is inappropriate. As anyone can see from the photo, she's a corrupt ORF.

  22. This is exactly why we need to resist folks like Sens. Josh Hawleys (R-Mo.)

    It is also exactly what's wrong with the usual narrow approach of defining the First Amendment as only controlling "government" activity and not applying in the slightest to private actors; it ignores the ability of other governments, unbound by the First Amendment, to use their coercive power to make private actors censor content in the United States.

    Accordingly, private actors in the US need to be given a quite explicit choice:

    1) Leave up any and all user content on their platforms in the US that is legal in the US, regardless of offensiveness to anyone. No "hate speech" rules, etc.

    2) Accept full liability as a publisher for what they choose to have published on their platform, as they exercise editorial control over what they leave up.

    3) Continue under the current regime, but with the restriction the private actor cannot have any operations or assets under the jurisdiction of any foreign state, so that foreign states cannot leverage their power over such assets or operations to demand censorship of content in the United States.

    1. Yeh, that'll keep the government from minding our business. Who you think's gonna enforce that shit? At whose discretion? Right, that won't backfire.

      1. The only penalty for failing to adhere to either #1 or #3 is falling into category #2. Therefore, if a platform fails to maintain the standard of either #1 or #3, it loses an immunity defense when it gets sued. Accordingly, the plaintiff suing to hold the platform responsible has the obligation to show, in the course of their lawsuit, that the immunity defense doesn't apply.

        The total sum involvement of the government, accordingly, is the court judging if the liability rule applies given the evidence presented in court during a civil action. Not one single member of civil service and no elected official of any kind has any power or responsibility to enforce it or any discretion of any kind over whether it applies.

  23. Googling "Glawischnig-Piesczek corrupt oaf" currently returns 1010 hits. Surely we can get that number higher.

  24. Let them come and enforce it here.


  25. Heaven only knows what the European Court of Justice would do if someone were to urge that A. Prechal, President of the Chamber, F. Biltgen, J. Malenovský (Rapporteur), C.G. Fernlund, and L.S. Rossi, Judges, be introduced to a woodchipper.

  26. Congress should pass the "Corrupt Oaf Act" mandating Facebook to not listen to the EU if they want to do business in America.

  27. You know who else was an Austrian corrupt ORF?

  28. Glawischnig-Piesczek is a cunt.

    Hey idiot, what finger am I showing you as a moon you?

    1. Is that crude enough, Scott?

      Facebook deserves some props for initially refusing.

  29. In all seriousness, still mooning that wretched degenerate, this is troubling.

    I'm also sensing a disturbing trend as Justin up here has been jostling to contain 'uncivil discourse' (ie criticism of him) via social media and has even bribed the media with $500 million probably as a means to make sure they behave.

    Like I said, freedom of speech and expression is on the run and the USA better damn remain vigilant. I hope the 1A is strong enough to withstand the corrupted lowlife megalomaniacs looking to censor 'wrong think' and 'wrong speech'.

    1. A major chunk of the latest generation of Americans has not been educated about freedom the same way that older Americans were. They have vastly different opinions about the meaning of freedom, free speech and censorship.

      We just saw that video of a young American girl lecturing Chinese protesters in Hong Kong about trading security for freedom. I can't imagine an American from any other era taking the opposite side on such a discussion, but there she was, touting "safe spaces" logic.

      This has been in the works for a long, long time. We've been told that people like FIRE are kooks and there is no such thing as a problem on campuses with freedom being under fire. The result is a major chunk of the voting public who thinks that the 1st amendment is archaic, and only speech they agree with is free speech.

  30. Glawischnig-Piesczek called the ruling “a historic success for human rights against web giants.”

    We're in '1984' territory now. Censorship is human rights!

    I bet you she gets off watching Nurse Ratchet amusing herself with a bunch of toys.

    I find it hilarious in a melancholic way they can misleadingly call and label anyone they disagree with as 'far right' or 'racist' or whatever but don't you dare call them fascist or corrupt.

    Even though that's precisely what they are in action.

    They said mean things about me ergo I will use my power to suppress mean words and thus crush free speech IS THE VERY DEFINITION OF FASCISM.

    1. It is more "Brave New World" than "1984" in this case.

      1. I concede. Good point.

  31. Green Party is not fascist. It is communist. Get it right.

    1. Again. I concede.

      1. tomato, tomahto...

        two branches of the same tree, despite the protestations of progressives.... who are also quite notably an outgrowth of that same plant.

  32. "Corrupt Oaf" is not the base qualification for being a member of the EU Parliament (at least those who are not protesting the existence of the EU)?

  33. So it's still ok to call every sitting member of the European Court of Justice corrupt oafs and lousy traitors? How about authoritarian assholes?

  34. Ceterum censent Citizen United delenda esse.

  35. Those with the resources, lobby groups, government use money to manipulate our dialogue by censorship to control our perceptions of reality, brainwash us, to act in their best interests not our own.

    This has always been how the weak elite exercise control over the more numerous masses. The persecution based on the nefarious definition of “hate speech” is only the latest method.

    If you value free speech and the knowledge of reality which affords self determination censorship is a real threat.

    What is really the definition of hate speech that these groups want to censor?

    Our first line of defence is to demand this legal clarity and then challenge the constitutionality of it.

  36. That being said, some speech that causes harm is and should be illegal.

    Threats must be taken seriously, necessitating self defence.

    The purpose of lies are to coerce people to make decisions they wouldn’t if they knew the truth. With this logic, libertarians all want lying to be illegal.

    There are definitions of the words corrupt and oaf. If she does not meet them, calling her that would be a lie.

    1. "With this logic, libertarians all want lying to be illegal."

      No, my friend, we most definitely do not. Not only would every human being on the face of earth instantly be made a criminal, but the act of lying is not necessarily, as you seem to say, an act of coercion. Influencing someone's decisions is not by any stretch of the imagination coercion, no matter if it is true or false. We have all done this, and we all should continue doing this. It is the central element of debate, and while it is convenient to simply accuse the opposition as a deceiving pack of liars, the main purpose of civil discourse is to convince the other side that what you believe is true without the use of forceful suppression.

      1. Here is the fallacy of your position “the main purpose of civil discourse is to convince the other side that what you believe is true”.

        There is truth, reality and there are beliefs, the unknown. Belief cannot define truth without conflicting beliefs making truth, reality meaningless. Is reality meaningless?

        The source of much absolutely unnecessary and unresolveable conflict is the effort to argue with people that your beliefs are truth.

        Rational people base all their decisions on reality because it is in their best interest to. Truth, reality has authority for rational people.

        Lies coerce them to decide otherwise.

        Here is the definition of coerce.

        “to compel by force, intimidation, or authority, especially without regard for individual desire or volition”

        1. Coercion in the political sense has to do with actual force, not the other things included in Webster's more comprehensive definition.

          But regardless, my point was that if lying were illegal, everyone would be guilty and liable to the consequences since everyone has in all likelihood lied at one time or another. This does not seem reasonable, and it illustrates the more fundamental problem with your suggestion: law should not forbid things which are more or less inevitable for an environment in which public discourse is possible.

          If I believe one thing, and you believe another which directly contradicts my theory, then inevitably one of us is lying. Should then one of us be convicted of a crime? Should one of us be fined for believing what the government (which, of course, is never wrong and can always be trusted to know the truth better than the rest of us) has determined as falsehood? I am thoroughly convinced that anyone who does think so has traded his respect for the freedom of human thought for a hopeless trust of perfect judgement from the most unreliable of institutions.

          1. We agree that lying is (full definition) coercion so let’s address your next fallacy preventing you from wanting it to be illegal like any good libertarian would. “If lying were illegal, everyone would be guilty”.

            Okay, everyone has already done something illegal. Has the sky fallen?

            Laws are in place to steer civil behaviour by the threat of punishment.

            Lying isn’t a harmless “thought” crime. It is coercion.

            1. "Laws are in place to steer civil behaviour by the threat of punishment."

              Um, sir, what you are advocating is thought control. You say that lying is more than thought crime, yet you entrust the government with filtering what people are allowed to think about reality? I understand that in many cases it seems much more straightforward what is true and what is false, but in reality, determining the difference is often a quite difficult if not impossible task.

              What you are breaking down is the barrier between thought and action, and as Jefferson said... "Legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions."

              1. To be clear, it is you who is conflating thought and action.

                You said lying is a thought crime.

                Lying is speaking. Here is the definition of speaking.

                “the act, utterance, or discourse of a person who speaks.”

                Even when it has been clearly demonstrated again and again, you seem to have difficulty recognizing the truth of my position, or the fallacy of yours.

                Go ahead, join the dipshit squad. Your position that knowledge is unattainable is self fulfilling.

  37. Apparently the entire EU is being run by individuals who can best be described as "corrupt oafs" or "lousy traitors of the people". Kamala Harris too!

    1. I did not say lying was a thought crime, and I have not conflated thought and action. I have separated them and proposed that the government should only be able to criminalize what is action and never what is thought, and thought includes the expression of one's beliefs. And believe it or not, I do know what speaking is.

      BTW, I believe that knowledge IS attainable, though your incoherent repitition of non-sensical, unrelated points does make make me wonder.

  38. I’ll just demonstrate you contradicting yourself.

    You said;
    “I did not say lying was a thought crime, and I have not conflated thought and action”

    “thought includes the expression”

    Thought does NOT include expression. That is how you conflate thought and action.

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