One of the most important catalysts in the ongoing (r)evolution of the people against the establishment is the free flow of information. Without the internet we would still be in the dark about many of the issues we are facing today, while now only those who choose not to see remain blind. The political and journalistic elites have merged into one, and together they have held a monopoly on information for decades. The internet has broken that monopoly and our leaders are still reeling from the shock. Allowing the internet to be formed truly musy be one of their biggest oversights to date.
The establishment’s counter attack is in full force, and their biggest weapons are the threat of “fake news” and “foreign intervention”. In The Netherlands, the “Bureau of Socio-Cultural Planning” (a government-run institute) has advised the recently formed government on the battle against “fake news”. Among their strategies: issuing permits for the sharing of news online.
It is not clear yet how that should stop anyone else from sharing news online, but it is clear that the government intends to jump on this report to at least tighten the ropes on the social media giants. The responsible Minister of the Interior, Kajsa Ollongren (for the D66 party), has stated that talks with Facebook are already taking place. Her other big moment in the two months (!) since she took up office is the repeal of the referendum law, although her party was once formed basically around the idea of introducing referendums – but that was before it turned out that the people did not have the correct opinion.
Democracy is in great hands with this one.
It’s kind of sad that they didn’t even bother to come up with their own story. Nope, it’s just the Russians again. Nobody is offering any evidence though – government officials literally stated they found websites trying to influence the Dutch people with fake news, but they wouldn’t share which websites those were because they didn’t want to draw attention to them.
The establishment is trying to set the clock back by years, trying to re-take full control of which information reaches us, the people. They are using the classic setup by scaring people with stories about the destabilization of our society and the undermining of democracy, and they are using every outlet the establishment has left (still the bulk of TV channels and newspapers) to bombard people with that notion and erode most of the resistance.
Now, “permits” for sharing news would never work, short of implementing regulations that would put China’s to shame. Likely, they are testing the waters, seeing how angry people will get (spoiler: not very angry – as long as we have TV and regular vacations, the masses will gladly accept tyranny). The legislation ultimately passed will still be Draconian, just slighty less ridiculous than this proposal. Just see for example how many posts are not being displayed on Twitter in countries like Germany and France, including posts from elected politicians in neighboring countries.
Facebook and Twitter will not only be allowed to suppress the anti-establishment right wing, they will be urged or even required to do so – i.e. the exact opposite of what these companies say they support in Net Neutrality, but in which they gladly cooperate with governments and with their own, clear political bias.
But no: social media permits which are designed to fight “fake news” would of course never be used to censor right wing or anti-establishment speech, and this doesn’t mean in any way that free speech is being abolished in The Netherlands (inasmuch as we still had it to begin with).
In the US, the left is threatening to “take to the streets” over President Trump potentially firing Mueller – even if he has every reason to by now. In Europe tyranny is actually gradually being installed as our freedoms are steadily being eroded, and we’re sitting here and taking it. Like we have for years. European governments have probably been the deadliest of the 20th century, but we can’t wait to surrender all of our rights and freedoms to them. If there is one thing we can learn from the left, it is how to mobilize ourselves and get normies to jump on our bandwagon