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The arsonist warns of the danger of fire

The Times reports,

The European Union is not immune to “the danger to democracy” unleashed by Donald Trump and must “rein in” the internet to prevent the spread of conspiracy theories and misinformation, Ursula von der Leyen said yesterday.

Shades of Ben Tre. Or of a mirror-universe version of the most recent episode of Star Trek Discovery: “That Hope Danger Is You”.

“In Europe, too, there are people who feel disadvantaged and are very angry,” she said. “There are people who subscribe to rampant conspiracy theories, which are often a confused mixture of completely absurd fantasies. And, of course, we too see this hate and contempt for our democracy spreading unfiltered through social media to millions of people.”

She said that “we may not succeed in convincing everyone” to abandon conspiracy theories, such as those of QAnon, through rational debate, and signalled that regulation and censorship of the internet was needed. “There is one thing that we politicians can, and must, do: we must make sure that messages of hate and fake news can no longer be spread unchecked, since, in a world in which polarising opinions are most likely to be heard, it is a short step from perverse conspiracy theories to the death of police officers,” she said. “Unfortunately, the storming of Capitol Hill showed us just how true that is.”

The speech showed the growing willingness within the EU to directly regulate or censor content circulated on internet platforms rather than leaving decisions, such as banning Mr Trump, to private companies. The EU is discussing new digital policies that would have major implications for Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter, including greater privacy and antitrust regulation as well as control over content.

“We must impose democratic limits on the untrammelled and uncontrolled political power of the internet giants,” Mrs Von der Leyen said. “We want it laid down clearly that internet companies take responsibility for the content they disseminate.”

I could be persuaded that internet companies should have to decide whether they are platforms or publishers, rather than the present system of allowing them whichever status benefits the US Democratic party this week. However this is not a move to limit the untrammelled and uncontrolled political power of the internet giants. They’ll love it. It is a move to limit and trammel further the already slight power to influence politics held by ordinary people.

The “UK affairs” tag has been added to this post solely so I can add this to my list of reasons to be glad that the UK has left the European Union.

14 comments to The arsonist warns of the danger of fire

  • Myno

    Fill in the blanks however you please: “it is a short step from ________ to the death of ________.” Then shout it from the ramparts. Don’t bother to ask about the “short step”; it’s obvious, right? And don’t worry about the cure. We got that covered too. If you have questions, don’t ask. And if you disagree, well then, f**k you and your progeny too, because you’re part of the problem. You don’t want to be a problem for us, do you?

  • staghounds

    Ursula von der Leyen can go p!ss up a rope.

    What makes her and her patronage sycophants more able to determine truth than I am, or Pntius Pilate for that matter?

  • George Atkisson

    Staghounds –

    You will be made to care, to kneel, and to shout rapturously at every word she utters. With a smile for the ubiquitous cameras, and a record made for later, to see who stops first.

    These people are drunk with the unrestrained power they feel within their grasp. There may be some brakes in the EU. There are none remaining in the US. What happens here will happen in the EU shortly thereafter.

    Biden has already ended or reversed dozens of Trump’s policies. He has publicly declared his intention to erase everything Trump did in office, and the Media will cheer and memory hole everything Trump did or said. Except for any thing negative that happens, of course. Those will be covered up or blamed on Trump.

  • James F Hargrave

    Shouldn’t a new govt campaign feature Pilate instructing people to wash their hands – to accompany crucifixion of Lock Down sceptics and, for want of any other policy options, slaughter of the first-born?

  • The fawning of the MSM over Biden’s coronation yesterday was sickening. And I fear it sets a precedent they won’t break no matter what he – or his diversity hires – do over the next four years.

  • asiaseen

    Ursula von der Leyen and EU – democracy? I have a very nice bridge, hardly used (though it is in China)…

  • JohnK

    The European Union is not immune to “the danger to democracy” unleashed by Donald Trump

    I think Madame Commissar von der Leyen may have mis-spoken. What she meant to say was “the danger of democracy.” That is the real danger the ruling caste have learnt from the election of Trump and Brexit. They had a big shock, and will never let it happen again.

  • John B

    ‘ The European Union is “the danger to democracy”.

    That’s better.

    The EU is a conspiracy of the political class, bureaucrats, special interest groups, to bring about a Federal State of Europe whether its people want it and at their expense.

  • She is echoing the thinking of Angela Merkel. The at-first-surprising report that Merkel had questioned Twitter’s banning of Trump became less so when I realised Merkel merely shares the opinion of Von der Leyen. Compare:

    no matter how right it may have been for Twitter to switch off Donald Trump’s account five minutes after midnight, such serious interference with freedom of expression should be based on laws and not on company rules. It should be based on decisions of politicians and parliaments and not of Silicon Valley managers. (Von der Leyen)


    “This fundamental right [of free speech] can be intervened in, but according to the law and within the framework defined by legislators, not according to a decision by the management of social media platforms” (Merkel)

    Not against censorship, just against the EU not controlling it.

  • The fawning of the MSM over Biden’s coronation yesterday was sickening. (JuliaM, January 21, 2021 at 8:40 am)

    The misfortune of chancing to witness a couple of soundless minutes near the end (while changing channels) did at least reveal Hillary and a raft of others wearing masks but also engaging in a lot of promiscuous celebratory hugging.

    All must wear masks to virtue signal, but only poll watchers must be socially distanced.

  • bobby b

    So, this post has to do with a person who, while idiotic and freedom-averse, is less idiotic and freedom-averse than the people who are presently running many of our countries?

    (People are – for fun and to prod the lefties, I think – running around the area I’m in with red spray paint, marking “Q!” on trees and posts and rocks. It – and the reactions – are hilarious. Shades of V . . . )

  • Katy Hibbert

    Thank goodness we’re out of the cesspit that is the EU.

  • The last toryboy

    Reminds me of Helldivers. “Managed democracy”.

  • Paul Marks

    Hardly anyone watches STD – so a reference to it is a bit pointless.

    As for Donald John Trump being a “threat to democracy” – he actually represented the “threat OF democracy”.

    The European Union is designed to PREVENT democracy – it is the rule of officials in association with professional groups (such as business associations, unions and so on).

    A CORPORATE STATE – just as Mr Biden represents in the United States.

    Yes the “anti Fascists” are actually FASCISTS – that is what a Corporate State is, Fascism.

    But one can avoid the “F word” if people are upset by it – just call them supporters of the Corporate State.

    As for “Conspiracy Theories”.

    Yes – the American election was rigged.

    Yes – most people who have died of Covid 19 could have been saved by Early Treatment.

    And yes – “Build Back Better”, “Great Reset”, “Agenda 21 – Agenda 2030”, “Sustainable Development”, “Stakeholder Capitalism” (the Corporate State – do not use the “F word”, Fascism, it upsets them to be called Fascists), is only too real.

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