In 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel famously confronted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and demanded he “fix” anti-immigrant posts showing up on his social media network. “Are you working on this?” Ms. Merkel asked.
“Yeah,” Mr. Zuckerberg reportedly responded before the transmission was disrupted.
It’s hard to think of a more damaging display of elitism caught on tape. Keenly aware of the power of social media and the effect it can have on political movements, Chancellor Merkel felt no compunction asking Mr. Zuckerberg to censor free speech so she could stay in power.
This attitude has now been officially encapsulated into law by the European Parliament with the passing of legislation that could lead to “upload filters,” “link taxes” and other Orwellian concepts. In short, the measure requires publishers to pay for the right to link to published content. It also requires social media site managers to take down “extremist” content (i.e., content political leaders don’t agree with) within an hour, essentially requiring the Facebooks and Googles of the world to “filter” what has been uploaded to begin with.
Conservatives and supporters of a free internet have been railing against the proposed measures for years, with varying degrees of success. Although not yet codified into law within the EU structure, the anti-free-expression agenda is plain to see.
The issue is a symptom of a much greater problem within the European Union and a stark example of why Britain is heading for the exits. The greater threats from the EU are the groupthink system the union has attempted to impose on its members and the increasingly authoritarian tactics used to do so.