Free Speech

German-Style Internet Censorship Catches On Around the World

Inspired by Germany's notorious hate-speech law, more countries seek to impose steep penalties on platforms that don't comply with their censorship whims.

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Even as the world wrestles with a pandemic and overbearing public health measures, some legislative bodies are taking the opportunity to tighten the screws on speech they don't like. Several bills have passed, others are pending, and one was gutted by court review, but all represent new fronts in government efforts to impose censorship.

For free speech advocates, the luckiest break might have been the fate of a law passed by the French National Assembly in May. While existing requirements give companies 24 hours to take down content alleged by the government to glorify terrorist activity or to constitute child pornography, the new law would have changed that to one hour. In addition, online publishers would have been allowed a day to remove so-called "hate speech."

"The same 24-hour obligation would have applied to content reported for violation of a law that criminalizes speech that promotes, glorifies, or engages in justification of sexual violence, war crimes, crimes against humanity, enslavement, or collaboration with the enemy; a law that criminalizes sexual harassment; and a law that bans pornography where it could be seen by a minor—among others," reports Jacob Schulz at Lawfare. "The law did not carve out any exceptions; the 24-hour rule would have applied even in the case of technical difficulties or temporary surge in notifications."

In June, France's Constitutional Court struck down the vast majority of the law as an unconstitutional threat to freedom of expression. That's really the only good news to report so far.

France's blocked hate-speech law was inspired by Germany's notorious NetzDG law, which makes online platforms liable for illegal content.

"Germany's Network Enforcement Law, or NetzDG … requires social media companies to block or remove content that violates one of twenty restrictions on hate and defamatory speech in the German Criminal Code," Diana Lee wrote for Yale Law School's Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic. "In effect, the NetzDG conscripts social media companies into governmental service as content regulators," with millions of euros in fines hanging over their heads if they guess wrong.

That model of delegated censorship has proven to be as infectious as a viral outbreak, taking hold in over a dozen other countries.

"This raises the question of whether Europe's most influential democracy has contributed to the further erosion of global Internet freedom by developing and legitimizing a prototype of online censorship by proxy that can readily be adapted to serve the ends of authoritarian states," Justitia, a Danish judicial thinktank, warned in a 2019 report.

It's no surprise when countries like Russia, Turkey, and Venezuela emulate intrusive legislation from elsewhere—they don't need much encouragement. But we've already seen that French legislators followed in Germany's lead, and lawmakers in the U.K. are poised to do the same.

"In the wrong hands the internet can be used to spread terrorist and other illegal or harmful content, undermine civil discourse, and abuse or bully other people," fretted a 2019 British government paper on "online harms." The paper specifically cited NetzDG as a potential legislative model.

Last week, British lawmakers debated the very broad powers that the government seeks.

Their proposals "introduce a new concept into law—'legal but harmful' for online speech," cautions Ruth Smeeth of Index on Censorship. "It's conflating what is already illegal, such as incitement and threat, with speech which we may disagree with, but in a free society is, and should be, legal."

Austria is also considering a NetzDG-inspired law that would require the removal of "content whose 'illegality is already evident to a legal layperson'" explains Martin J. Riedl, a native Austrian and Ph.D. student at the University of Texas at Austin's School of Journalism and Media. The law would further encourage compliance by "forbidding their debtors (e.g., businesses who advertise on platforms) to pay what they owe to platforms" that don't conform to the law.

That's expected to encourage even more "overblocking" by platforms worried that they'll face a financial death penalty if they guess wrong as to content's legal status.

Still, Austrians may not be able to out-flank their role models. Germany this summer moved to make NetzDG even more restrictive by adding mandatory "hate speech" reporting requirements.

Brazilian lawmakers, too, are considering legislation that started as NetzDG-inspired before morphing into a campaign against so-called "fake news" (because, apparently, any excuse for controlling speech is a good excuse when you work in government).

"It is vague on the matter of what's considered fake news, which it describes as false or deceptive content shared with the potential to cause individual or collective harm," wrote Brazilian journalist Raphael Tsavkko Garcia for the MIT Technology Review. "This ambiguity leaves it to the state to decide what kind of content is considered false or potentially harmful, and could allow those in power to manipulate the definition for political gain."

The U.S. faces its own speech- and privacy-threatening legislation in the form of the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN IT) Act of 2020. The legislation, which was introduced in the House of Representatives last month, invokes children and the dangers of child pornography on its way to threatening platforms with the loss of Section 230 protection against liability for content posted by users if they don't adopt government-dictated "best practices."

"The EARN IT bill would allow small website owners to be sued or prosecuted under state laws, as long as the prosecution or lawsuit somehow related to crimes against children," warns the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "We know how websites will react to this. Once they face prosecution or lawsuits based on other peoples' speech, they'll monitor their users, and censor or shut down discussion forums."

This world-wide wave of censorship legislation piggy-backs on pandemic-related concerns about the quality of information and the safety of communications available to people confined to their homes. It has sometimes been passed by legislatures empowered by health-related states of emergency. Yet again, a crisis eases the way for governments to accumulate powers that would face greater resistance in happier times.

"Governments around the world must take action to protect and promote freedom of expression during the COVID-19 pandemic, which many States have exploited to crack down on journalism and silence criticism," the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression warned in July.

That timely heads-up is hampered only by the fact that governments are well aware of the situation—and consider it a feature, not a bug.

NEXT: Amy Coney Barrett Is No Extremist on Stare Decisis

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  1. Looking to Germany for morality is like looking to France for fortitude.

    1. It drives me nuts to see how much weight people give to Europe. Not only are you talking about small nation-states with a fraction of the population, economies and military power of countries like ours, but they are small nation-states responsible for some of the worst ills of this world. Imperialism, Colonialism, Marxism, Socialism. And while it is nice that they also are the place where capitalism and liberalism originated, it is noteworthy that those countries have largely rejected such philosophies, instead choosing to install some of the worst mass murderers in history.

      1. Exactly. The only time Europe has been peaceful has been under US occupation. The reason Europe thrived in the past was because it was a large number of independent, competing states with distinct cultures: nations with good ideas (e.g., UK) thrived, and nations with bad ideas (e.g., Germany, Poland) were conquered. The EU put an end to all that.

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        2. One of those “nations with bad ideas” that you mentioned (Germany) conquered the other (Poland). Not a good thing. The notion that having “bad ideas” should render a nation subject to being conquered is quite ugly. What were Poland’s “bad ideas” anyway, as you see it?

          1. The notion that having “bad ideas” should render a nation subject to being conquered is quite ugly.

            I agree completely! And that’s one of those notions that American progressives and European nations share; that’s why Europe has been mired in wars, genocides, and totalitarianism for two millennia.

            Libertarians and classical liberals who oppose that idea are denounced as “isolationists” and “friends of totalitarian regimes” by American progressives and the American left in general.

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        4. Sadly, that’s true.

    2. +1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

      Hitler’s Socialism never died in Germany, the Germans just spend 75+ years denying they were Nazis. Now we know everyone advocating for European Socialism is a Nazi too.

      1. I prefer the term National Socialism to Nazi, because it makes it clearer what it is. There seems to have been a massive effort over there decades to obfuscate after the horrors of National Socialism and its allies Fascism and, initially, Stalinism. And, of course, to slag America at every turn, as though all of the complaints combined could come close to what the Axis powers and Stalinists did. That someone can claim to be both anti fascist and socialist shows how little today’s generations know of the past. Group think over critical thinking. And of course censorship is needed to protect bad ideas, like national socialism, against better ideas, like liberalism. But even referring to National Socialism and its horrible deeds is probably hate speech under laws that seek to protect, well, I guess, national socialism (and modern correlates, like the PRC, with its explicit racial preference for Han Chinese and its million person religious concentration camps).

        1. China is classically Fascist. State directed corporatism, nationalism, ethnic preference, forced labor, aggressive foreign policy, social conformity , authoritarianism, censorship…

          Are there any boxes unchecked?

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  2. “Yet again, a crisis eases the way for governments to accumulate powers that would face greater resistance in happier times.”

    Shut up and wear the damn mask.

    1. I do. But shouldn’t I be allowed to question whether the lockdowns that claim to protect my elderly Mom actually do a lot of harm due to social isolation, with minimal effect on spread of the virus? (Once in the facility, the virus will either be spread to everyone via staff who visit every room, or not at all.). But one mustn’t question the supposed experts in government (despite papers from prestigious institutions documenting the ruinous health effects of lockdowns), at least according to uk’s prime minister.

  3. The U.S. faces its own speech- and privacy-threatening legislation in the form of the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN IT) Act of 2020. The legislation, which was introduced in the House of Representatives last month, invokes children and the dangers of child pornography on its way to threatening platforms with the loss of Section 230 protection against liability for content posted by users if they don’t adopt government-dictated “best practices.”

    Germany: Take down your shit or we’ll fine you.
    America: Take down your shit or you could be liable for civil prosecution.
    Reason: Not giving is taking.

    Anybody who tries to tell you that section 230 protects internet companies from ‘German-style internet censorship’ has not read section 230.

    1. If social media outlets want to avoid exposure to civil prosecution under Section 230 all they have to do is NOT censor content.

      The notion that not censoring will result in more censorship is absurd on its face.

      1. “If social media outlets want to avoid exposure to civil prosecution under Section 230 all they have to do is NOT censor content.”

        Where are you getting this from?

        1. Section 230

          1. Post the part where it says that

            1. (c)Protection for “Good Samaritan” blocking and screening of offensive material
              (1)Treatment of publisher or speaker
              No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

              (2)Civil liabilityNo provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—
              (A)any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or
              (B)any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph (1).[1]

              1. Ummmm you might want to read that again. It says you CAN moderate content while still not being liable for 3rd party’s posts

                1. By moderating, protections from civil liability are potentially compromised pursuant to subsection (c)(2)(A).

                  The simplest way to avoid losing such protections is by not censoring.

                  1. No dude. It says the opposite of that. You can moderate 3rd party postings your own websites to your heart’s content, as you should be able to.

                    1. I cannot understand it for you, I can only cite to the relevant section.

                      Good faith is a required element. By moderating in bad faith, a social media company exposes itself to potential civil liability. The easiest way to avoid civil liability is not to moderate and/or censor.

                    2. I can’t wait to hear how we should determine whether someone is behaving in “good faith” when deciding how to run their own website. I have a feeling it involves committees of Top Men.

                    3. “Good faith” is a legal term of art present in many statutory schemes and regulations.

                      If you want to see how “good faith” is determined, do some legal research.

                    4. “I can’t wait to hear how we should determine whether someone is behaving in “good faith” when deciding how to run their own website. I have a feeling it involves committees of Top Men.”

                      Or juries

                  2. “The simplest way to avoid losing such protections is by not censoring.”

                    No, it specifically says that removing content your site finds “otherwise objectionable” is allowable.

                    That is the whole point. The framers wanted people to be able to have a forum dedicated to no-holds-barred conversation, or even narrowly tailored to specific interests. Want to run a knitting forum where all sales, politics, and needlpoint conversation is banned? Do it. You won’t be held liable if someone libels another person.

                    1. You are misunderstanding.

                      If a social media company does not censor, there is no potential for any exposure to civil liability.

                      If a social media company does censor, there is potential exposure based on the good faith requirement.

                    2. “If a social media company does not censor, there is no potential for any exposure to civil liability.”

                      There is no exposure EITHER WAY. Section 230 specifically exempts companies from liability for 3rd party produced content posted to their platform.

                      “If a social media company does censor, there is potential exposure based on the good faith requirement.”

                      This is precisely wrong, and you can go look at the statements made when this law was passed. The words “or otherwise objectionable” were specifically added here to give sites the freedom to moderate content to their own choosing. If you want to get rid of liberal content and have a conservative only site, you are free to do that. If you want to kick all the religious people off your site, you are free to do that.

                      While a person *could* argue that a site which advertises itself as “viewpoint neutral” who, say, kicks off the Rush Limbaugh types is not acting in “Good Faith”, it would be a stretch. You would basically have to prove that the site was arbitrarily and punitively kicking people off. For example, a site could say “We are viewpoint neutral” and believe it, even though they are horribly biased. Bad faith means you need a smoking gun where they essentially admit that they know something doesn’t violate their rules, but they moderated it anyways.

                    3. “There is no exposure EITHER WAY”

                      That is not correct. You are reading the good faith requirement out of the statute.

                    4. “That is not correct. You are reading the good faith requirement out of the statute.”

                      I specifically addressed “Good Faith”. In order to prove “Bad Faith” you have to find some smoking gun that the person knows before hand that what they are doing is against what they promised. First of all, very few sites promise complete, viewpoint neutrality. Pretty much every site says “we reserve the right to remove content that we find objectionable”.

                      In order to win a bad faith claim, you would have to prove that they promised you a level of objectivity, and that they systematically, pervasively knew that they were not going to offer that level of objectivity at the time they made that promise. The fact that they internally, pervasively believe that your conservative site is Objectionable, does not rise to the level of bad faith- if they can prove that the 10000 liberals working for their company believe your conservative website is objectionable.

                      Again, the whole purpose of section 230 was NOT to limit companies to being objective or neutral. It was to allow a vast diversity of sites to flourish according to whatever moderation model they want. Seriously, go read the statements being made at the time. 230 has always been about clarifying what was already being worked out in the courts- that if you have third party, non-employees contributing content, you aren’t responsible for their content. There was never any desire to create “fair” or “neutral” platforms.

                      And again, if you really think that the US Government is capable of defining “fair” or “neutral” in a way that won’t backfire against conservatives, then I have some Patriot Act FISA warrants for the trump campaign to leak to you.

                    5. You are missing the point.

                      Whether or not good faith or bad faith are possible, or impossible, or hard to prove is not the point.

                      The point is that the element of good faith is part of the statutory scheme, and the simplest way to erase all questions of exposure to civil liability is to not moderate and/or censor.

                    6. So when any law or contract says you must do XYZ in good faith, your recommendation is to just not do XYZ at all to play it safe? Don’t you think they wrote the section about being allowed to moderate your website because you are supposed to be allowed to moderate your website?

    2. “Anybody who tries to tell you that section 230 protects internet companies from ‘German-style internet censorship’ has not read section 230.”

      That isn’t what they said. They said the EARNIT law threatens to remove protections against civil suits IF YOU DON’T FOLLOW GOVERNMENT DEFINED BEST PRACTICES.

      So if the government defines best practices around “preventing online bullying”, “limiting hate speech” or “stopping fake news”, you will be obliged to follow those rules.

      Think about these comment sections. How often are pundits posting their slanted news articles and tweets? Reason will need to follow “best practices” as defined by some Blue Ribbon Commission to moderate those links. Otherwise, the next time Tulpa accuses Shreek of being a pedo, Shreek can sue Reason.

      The natural outcome of that is that Reason will ultimately get out of the comments business. (Yahoo just did the same thing, largely because of the German law. They don’t have the time, money or energy to moderate their articles, and as a subsidiary of Verizon, it was too big of a risk that they would be sued.)

      1. “That isn’t what they said. They said the EARNIT law threatens to remove protections against civil suits IF YOU DON’T FOLLOW GOVERNMENT DEFINED BEST PRACTICES.”

        Unless you behave like, say, cell carriers and do not censor ANYTHING at all. There is a reason why T-Mobile doesn’t get brought up on charges if a crime is planned using their cellular network.

      2. That isn’t what they said.

        I didn’t say they did. The invokation of section 230 is between a non-sequitur and anti-thetic. Non-sequitur in that congress can pass laws, even unconstitutional ones, as they see fit and s230 doesn’t raise a peep. Anti-thetic in that the passing of s230 and the supposed repeal of protections does exactly that.

        Don’t want to see a government regulate online speech? S230 regulates online speech. If it didn’t, it’s repeal should be no problem.

        1. congress can pass laws, even unconstitutional ones, as they see fit and s230 doesn’t raise a peep

          Despite popular rhetoric and the basal stupidity of those who fall for it, s230 does not defend free speech on the internet in any way similar to the 1A and, on its face, violates the 1A.

  4. It’s honestly amazing the free Internet has lasted as long as it has without the government ruining it

    1. There are some of us who can remember a more free internet and this internet is the ruined version.

    2. I agree. It’s too bad the internet companies are working so hard to ruin it.

      1. Even when the big platforms themselves suspend or boot someone off their networks for violating “community standards”—an act that does look to many people like old-fashioned censorship—it’s not technically an infringement on free speech, even if it is a display of immense platform power. Anyone in the world can still read what the far-right troll Tim “Baked Alaska” Gionet has to say on the internet. What Twitter has denied him, by kicking him off, is attention.

        The hack who wrote this article doesn’t know what free speech is. It absolutely IS an infringement on free speech… it’s just not an actionable first amendment issue.

    3. teh government gave us free internet to trap us into needing the internet so that they could then control us. they did the same with credit cards, at first you could write off all interest payments once everyone was hooked on that they took it away. we are all addicted to credit now and you literally can’t do anything without credit ratings. was it a plot or lucky hapenstance?

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  7. Zuckerberg sees the duct tape in the picture as a metaphor for AI speech bots.

  8. What we need is some sort of extranational organization that controls the internet with the following rule: anybody can put anything they want up, but if they attack this organization, they will never be able to put up anything else again. Sort of like the Spacing Guild in Dune. Ruthless, unflinching, but absolutely impartial.

    1. And of course the Spacing Guild was an absolutely corrupt organization that helped perpetuate a feudal empire that trampled on the rights of the vast majority of its population.

      I loved Dune, but the vast over-riding point of that book is that every institution in that universe was complicit in a tyranny that was threatening to destroy humanity. From the feudal leaders, to the religious Bene Geserits to the Spacing Guild, all three parties used their respective monopolies on Force, Dogma, and Commerce to keep a strangle hold on the empire.

      It is telling that God Emperor Leto’s solution to this state of humanity- his Golden Path- was to be such a tyrant that humanity would scatter to the corners of the universe and never again tolerate a monopoly on power again.

      The answer is not to centralize authority but to continue removing barriers to entry that allow competition to surface. Unfortunately, the US has made many, many mistakes here, benefiting entrenched tech companies and giving them the ability to absorb their competition before it becomes a true threat.

    2. Sort of like the Spacing Guild in Dune. Ruthless, unflinching, but absolutely impartial.

      No organization with that much power would remain impartial and honest.

  9. The USA solution is both simple and easy to implement.
    Common sense speech controls modeled after the gun restrictions.
    Simplest and fastest is to require each social media and email account to be registered in the true name of the individual, coupled with the same type of background check and fingerprinting as for a CCP. For high capacity posters (those with more than one account), the same simple and legal restrictions as are required for machine gun registrations.
    Since all of these are not considered restrictions on a right protected by the Constitution, there should not be any serious issues with implementing them.

    1. LOL

      This wins post of the day.

    2. What about waiting periods? No waiting periods before acquiring a new email or social media account?

  10. You know who else wanted his country to be more German?

    1. I know! I know! (Jumps up and down.)

      Just about every American progressive before around 1940!

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  12. The tech companies are way out ahead here in the US, setting norms for allowable speech, and just waiting for the government to catch up.

    1. “The tech companies are way out ahead here in the US”

      China is way ahead of everyone. They have a “face payment” system where you can walk into a shop or a subway station etc, and pay for things with your face. They’ve been doing this over a year now. It seems Americans tend to shy away from high concept technology like the Chinese are so keen to develop.

      1. So if you buy something on sale, are you saving face?

  13. What we need is for government to stop creating monopolies on the Internet and for the Internet to fragment.

  14. I have no idea what’s in the water in Germany but bad ideas seems to be their thing.

    Germany produced the progressive movement. They also, well, you know. So it’s no surprise they’d be into muzzling speech.

    Kinky bunch.

    1. Read Douglas Murray’s book, The Strange Death of Europe

      There’s a chapter where he actually discusses why so much philosophical nuttiness comes out of Germany. There’s a theory about why German society has repeatedly ‘crashed’. It’s due to the German philosophical tendency to treat everything in absolute. Every idea must be pursued to its ultimate goal and those ideas end up driving every aspect of public life. As those absolutes crash, it leads to a sense of ‘ennui’ or ‘tiredness’.

      In simple terms, when the foundations of popular all-consuming ideas fall away, the more desolation they leave in their wake.

      1. “it leads to a sense of ‘ennui’ or ‘tiredness’”

        That may be so, but Germans have shown remarkably varied reactions to this ennui. We in the west still tend to take our cultural cues from them. The Baader Meinhof group felt impelled to react to their parents’ refusal to come to terms with their Nazi past. The Green movement, a reaction against consumerism and exploitation, got its start in Germany. One of my favorite artists, Joseph Beuys, explored these themes in installations such as “I Like America and America Likes Me” wherein Beuys spent 3 days locked in a room in a New York art gallery with a coyote.

        1. By the way, if you say “kai oat” you are probably a Trump voter. If you say “kai o tee” a Biden voter. Just don’t say “koy yo tay” unless you are an illegal Mexican person.

          1. I seriously doubt most Biden voters ever have need to use the word “coyote”.

            1. Coyotes and coyote/wolf hybrids inhabit cities in the east and west, including Manhattan. They’ve been city dwellers since the days of Montezuma and before.

              1. Yeah, but Biden voters couldn’t tell a coyote from a chihuahua.

  15. There’s always a way to get around censorship. European countries have long had laws banning the flying of swastikas and other Nazi symbols. Something about WWII and a guy called Hitler.

    The producers of The Longest Day, a 1963 American epic war film on the D day invasion faced a problem: how to depict the events without showing Nazi flags etc. The solution, they had all the regalia and other relevant props made in black and white and neutral density (film jargon for grey) – which they could display legally. The film was shot in black and white, and no one was the wiser.

    If you can find yourself a black and white internet, you can do your Nazi speechifying.

  16. Well now, it looks like the Nazis are reawakening. It’s about time, right? This is how they used to operate. The next step will be death or dismemberment. Take your pick. Enforcing the end of speech not approved by government is in itself criminal and a clear violation of human rights. Put the brakes on these thugs.

    1. Well now, it looks like the Nazis are reawakening. It’s about time, right? This is how they used to operate. The next step will be death or dismemberment.

      No, this is not how Nazis operate. Nazism wasn’t some kind of incremental, insidious, invisible force. They were BLM/Antifa-like hooligans in the streets and a rapidly growing new political movement and party. They were installed with totalitarian powers through a single act of parliament in 1933, with the agreement of the majority of parliamentarians from other parties.

      Restrictions on free speech were used in an attempt to stifle the rise of the Nazis prior to 1933; it obviously failed.

  17. This just the start. People have been clamoring for cell phone companies to block spam callers, and they have begun to do so. It doesn’t take much imagination to think about them censoring anything coming from orgs on SPLC’s lists.

    NRA looking to raise awareness of an issue or fund raise? Sorry, their calls are unacceptable and get blocked. A conservative religious org wants to talk to you about something: blocked. GOP calling? They could turn a tide by blocking just one call of 10.

    You would literally not know what you are missing.

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      But yeah, I get what you are saying. Like everything else they do, it will be abused for political reasons.

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  20. For a group of countries that were either conquered by or embarrasses of Adolf Hitler, they are doing their best to emulate him. He would be proud of these laws. Not only do they shift enforcement and regulation to companies, they guarantee over enforcement by companies afraid of missing something on the margins and being heavily fined. This is just another reason I do t want European style socialism in the US.

    1. ” He would be proud of these laws.”

      I don’t think so. Hitler relied on personal loyalty. He went so far as to require loyalty oaths to himself of military personnel. Even though anti Jewish marriage laws were enacted, Hitler was know to personally intervene and circumvent them if his favorite actors and actresses were affected. I doubt Hitler would have been impressed by any legal formulations.

    1. Well, hopefully we can defeat the Democrats once again.

  21. I’ve been saying for a long time that a Biden victory spells the end of comment sections on websites, as the government will hold websites responsible for the content in their comment sections. The website’s lawyers will do the rest by telling their clients that allowing even closely monitored and carefully edited comment sections is simply too risky.

    But it won’t stop there. Websites critical of the new US government will be accused of ‘hate speech’, including websites such as reason.com and Fox News. They will be fined or shutdown if they don’t comply with the new ‘hate speech’ standards.

    No government wants free and open criticism. It was thus inevitable that they would find ways to control content on the internet while supposedly maintaining ‘free speech’. The concept of ‘hate speech’ is the perfect method for doing just that.

    The democrats are absolutely determined to prevent another ‘Trump style outsider’ from ever winning an election again, and this is the way they will do it.

    Enjoy your freedom to openly criticize the government or accuracy of news content while you still can. It won’t be around much longer.

    1. I’ve been saying for a long time that a Biden victory spells the end of comment sections on websites, as the government will hold websites responsible for the content in their comment sections.

      Good! The sooner the better!

      No government wants free and open criticism. It was thus inevitable that they would find ways to control content on the internet while supposedly maintaining ‘free speech’.

      Right now, governments are controlling speech by controlling a few big corporations. Destroying the business model that lets those big corporations control online discussions results in more free speech, not less; it decreases government control.

      Enjoy your freedom to openly criticize the government or accuracy of news content while you still can. It won’t be around much longer.

      If we kill Section 230 and the market fragments as a result, it will be around a lot longer than when four big corporations control 90% of online discussions.

    2. “I’ve been saying for a long time that a Biden victory spells the end of comment sections on websites”

      Two words, automated curation. That’s why you can spend all day on Facebook without seeing dick pictures. Also, antifa activists will be monitoring the web and reporting closeted fascists to employers. All this has been happening under Trump and will continue.

    3. This is the way the Democrats will ensure that the next “Trump style outsider” is worse than Trump.

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