Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 25 January 2024

How fact-checkers and anti-disinformation campaigns restrict freedom of speech in the “Global Boiling Era”

Historically, freedom of speech has been restricted through direct coercion.  But today, this is being done in more subtle ways: “fact-checkers,” governments pressurising social media companies to censor, anti-disinformation campaigns and “hate speech” laws.

The insidious restrictions have got so bad that in some European countries, people have become fearful of expressing their views.

The activities of the censors came to prominence during the covid-crisis, when many critics of the authoritarian power measures felt the stigmatisation of the fact-checkers and the resulting cancelling. Meanwhile, disinformation and propaganda by the authorities have often not been followed by fact-checking, restraint and accountability.

In Part 1 of “Untouched Disinformation or When Fact-checking Goes Silent,” writer and analyst Theo L. Glück explores freedom of speech in the “Global Boiling Era.”

Analysis: GLOBAL BOILING ERA – Untouched Disinformation or When Fact-Checking Goes Silent (Part 1)

By Theo L. Glück and published by Freedom Research

While in totalitarian regimes free speech is restricted by direct and strict coercion, in today’s democracies this is being done in more subtle ways. The latest trend, both in the EU but also in the US, is to pressure social media companies to implement censorship on a wide range of issues (migration, climate, minorities, health, etc.) when critical views do not match those approved by the authorities. In addition, a number of European countries have hate speech laws to protect “minorities”, which explicitly restrict freedom of expression and threaten critics with criminal sanctions.

In Germany, Europe’s largest country, the authorities have taken a particularly hard line on freedom of expression in the last decade, leading to an unprecedented low – already 44% of Germans admit they have to be careful about expressing their views and only 40% think they can still express their political opinions freely (see the graph). Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the proportion of people who feel they speak freely has steadily declined, reaching a historic low in just the last decade.

Read More: How fact-checkers and anti-disinformation campaigns restrict freedom of speech in the “Global Boiling Era”

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