Name a single person or organisation you trust to control your speech. Whom would you trust to control what you can read, or make decisions on what is true and what is false for you? Whom do you trust to police what you think?
The German government thinks it knows exactly who should be the arbiter of truth and what articles you should be allowed to post. Itself!
After a bill was proposed by German lawmakers, which threatened fines of up to 500,000 euros ($522,000) for publishing “fake news,” Facebook decided to use an organisation called Correctiv, described as a German fact-checking non-profit organisation, to decide whether reported stories are “real” or “fake.”
This system would then encourage individual Facebook users to report other users’ posts to Correctiv. Facebook would then have Correctiv label any of the articles “fake news,” as they see fit.
Even then, this proposed response by Facebook was not harsh enough for some German lawmakers, who want articles deemed to be fake by the government to be removed within 24 hours, or else fine Facebook 500,000 euros. That move would undoubtedly lead to individuals abandoning Facebook for other social networks, or more probably, Facebook abandoning them. German attempts to police the Facebook could end up useless; to many, the plan looks suspiciously like a money-making stratagem.
A centralized “speech police” would also create a monopolisation of the media industry. One or two large platforms would dominate the public debate; fringe voices would be ignored and cast aside.
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