There are wars that just can’t be won – but countries like Australia seem poised for what in their rational heart of hearts must tell them, is an attrition that will be lost.
And yet, some force within or without makes them try their luck.
How about censoring the internet?
But – how in the world, could Australia ever emerge more powerful than the internet itself?
Nominally, what those behind this particular legislative initiative – of course – say is not what that’s about.
But those who at an early age learned to put two and two together will likely disagree. And right now, the preferred way to go after speech freedoms is to frame legitimate speech as online “disinformation” or “misinformation.”
Guess what Australia’s authorities – already severely criticized, debunked, and just embarrassed for the way they treated human beings during the now it seems “long-forgotten Covid pandemic” – have in store this time?
“Disinformation and misinformation.”
And when these people tell you – the bill is “not” aimed at censoring the internet, but merely suppressing online disinformation – don’t feel bad if you don’t believe them.
This is not some “Ministry of Truth” – those behind the proposal of yet another censorship law in Australia actually argue – a pretty damning choice of words.
One has to wonder, have they actually read George Orwell’s “1984”? Or are they just shameless?
In Australia, the proposed deal is this: the Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) wants to “be able to see … what the platforms are doing (…) effective at dealing with these issues.”
The “issues,” of course, being “misinformation and disinformation” – however, how is either defined? Not clear-cut defined, at all. But certainly slapped onto censorship notices.
It was last month that Australia’s Communications Minister Michelle Rowland floated the draft, that would eventually grant the authority even more powers over what can be said online – but also how that content can be harvested, retained, “registered and standardized.”
And the goal is apparently not censorship. It’s to “compel digital platforms to protect Australians from fake news and crackpot conspiracy theories,” The Financial Review reported.
But what happens when your actual government turns into a “crackpot conspiracy theorist?” Promoting self-censorship? Now, how’s that, for a democracy?
“It’s inevitable that under this law platforms would self-censor large amounts of content so they don’t fall foul of ACMA and incur big fines. This is very likely to mean the suppression of the legitimately held views of Australians,” said opposition communications spokesman David Coleman.
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