Germany is ready to impose Orwellian laws against so called “fake news” via the country’s Justice Minister, Heiko Maas. Mass is proposing fines of up to 50 million euros ($53 million US dollars) for anyone who does not swiftly remove what is deemed hate speech or “fake news.”
Does that mean the mere 6 corporations who control the entire “free” press will now determine what it is, and isn’t o.k. to put in print?
This absolutist suggestion from the center-left Social Democratic party headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition could make life a living hell for websites merely trying to express truth about unpopular topics, many of which are in dire need of exposure. Due to the proposition, many social media sites in Germany have already taken voluntary steps to “crack down” on free-speech.
Mass said late last year that Facebook should go after “fake news,” suggesting,
“Defamation and malicious gossip are not covered under freedom of speech.”
The only problem with this ideology is that “fake news” is a blanket dismissal of information that requires no elaboration or proof that it is either malicious of defamatory.
If mainstream news sites were held to the very same standard as alternative news sites were then they would be fined continuously. And hilariously, mainstream media is now whining about the “fake news standards” being implemented in Germany, the U.S. and around the world.
“Fake news was a term specifically about people who purposely fabricated stories for clicks and revenue,” said David Mikkelson, the founder of Snopes, the myth-busting website. “Now it includes bad reporting, slanted journalism and outright propaganda. And I think we’re doing a disservice to lump all those things together.”
Though many have suggested that Snopes is a propaganda website with shaky sources, it gets dangerous when you start to specify who does and doesn’t get to have free speech.
In our own Constitution, religious, cultural, and yes, even political views, are supposed to be protected under the First Amendment:
“The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.”
More than two centuries later, we have reporters who go missing, or are executed. Campus free-speech codes are altered so that students cannot even peacefully demonstrate. Performance artists are jailed. Whistleblowers are exiled. A blogger is condemned to a thousand lashes by a close geo-political ally, and the massacre of French cartoonists, even if a false flag attack, have now forced the purportedly democratic world to reexamine its commitment to free speech.
In the 1930’s Adolf Hitler arrested and executed people who exercised free speech., even admitting that the Nazi party could have been stopped if it’s nucleus had effectively been destroyed.
To wit, the Social Darwinist’s so-called “wisdom,”
“And so, I established in 1919 a programme and tendency that was a conscious slap in the face of the democratic-pacifist world (…) [We knew] it might take five or ten or twenty years, yet gradually an authoritarian state arose within the democratic state, and a nucleus of fanatical devotion and ruthless determination formed in a wretched world that lacked basic convictions.
Only one danger could have jeopardised this development – if our adversaries had understood its principle, established a clear understanding of these ideas, and not offered any resistance. Or, alternatively, if they had from the first day annihilated with the utmost brutality the nucleus of our new movement.”
Mass’s Nazi-esque suggestion (and others’ attempts to squash free speech) are more likely a knee-jerk, desperate, defensive move to sway what remains of public opinion. A whopping 94 percent of the population has determined that mainstream news is a joke, so the social influencers are out of a propaganda machine to do their bidding.
Is Heiko Mass’ suggestion to impose ridiculous fines against those who speak against tyranny any different than the goals of the Führer? Only you can decide.