Popular right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders tweeted his response to the islamic terrorist attack in Manchester (May 22nd 2017). As a reporter for the Dutch public news station NOS discovered, the tweet is not available in Germany – he is able to access the tweet using a VPN, but without VPN a notification pops up that reads:
Country withheld content (…) In our continuing effort to make our services available to users everywhere, if we receive a valid and properly scoped request from an authorized entity, it may be necessary to reactively withhold access to certain content in a particular country from time to time.
It seems like the sort of text that would be reserved for dictatorships and oppressive regimes like China, North Korea, Venezuela or other communist hellholes, but censorship has made a comeback in Europe, and leave it to Germany to lead the charge. There is really nothing in Wilders’ Tweet that would explain the government’s “request” to Twitter to block this content. There is no racism, no inciting hatred, no call for violence – nothing that would be distasteful perhaps, but arguably not even uncalled for in light of the events that triggered this Tweet, i.e. the deliberate killing and maiming of children and parents on a night out by a fundamentalist Muslim.
The continuing attacks by Islamic terrorists on innocent Westerners are leading to an ever increasing crackdown on the free speech of Westerners by their governments. We know that the best answer the leaders of the West have to the war that is being waged against the people and the values they are responsible for is love, tolerance and open borders. And anybody challenging that ideology with things like facts and reality needs to be silenced.
Yes, the social media companies are being pressured into this banning of wrongthink, but it is clear that they are not particularly sorry about this. One of Twitter’s founders, Evan Williams, declared in an interview with the New York Times:
I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place,. I was wrong about that.
Which is in stark contrast with the conclusion of Twitter’s “Country withheld content” notification:
We strongly believe that the open and free exchange of information has a positive global impact, and that the Tweets must continue to flow.
The internet is invaluable in supporting and connecting dissidents living under oppressive regimes, which makes it all the more disturbing that governments in the so-called “free world” are now using their legislative powers to suppress political speech that goes against their interests and ideologies. The rise of “populism”, which is just a pejorative term for whatever a large portion of the general population wants but is considered taboo by the political elite, has been made possible largely by the free flow of information on the internet. It is, honestly and without any exaggeration, a dark sign of things to come when governments can and do muzzle political opposition and voices of dissent.
After the Islamic terrorist attack against Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7th 2015, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg replied publicly (which he did not do after other terrorist attacks), and he replied because:
This attack was to silence people who had offended someone else. There are a lot of different things that can stand in the way of you having a voice. A government can create a law blocking free speech. You might not have the tools like the Internet to share your voice. But if you live in fear that you’re going to get hurt because some extremist might not like what you say and might kill you, that’s not freedom of expression. We stand up and try to let people have as much of a voice as possible. This was an event where I thought people didn’t just need to stand up against terrorism, but to stand up for everyone having a voice and the ability to share as many things as possible.
…which sounds good, but leaves a bitter aftertaste when you realize that the guy who said it cooperates with governments to censor people’s freedom of expression, and while he defends Facebook’s operating in countries with oppressive regimes because “continuing to operate can help the country in other ways, such as allowing people to connect with loved ones, learn, and find jobs. So I think overwhelmingly our responsibility is to continue operating” – things are not actually looking better in countries like China or North Korea, but they are looking worse way closer to home.
That there are not crowds with torches and pitchforks gathering outside German government buildings right now illustrates that the population of Europe has been effective lulled to sleep by the elites.
I will add the screenshot of Wilders’ Tweet below for any of you in Germany who would like to see what your government won’t allow you to see.