Home Tech Taming the tech giants is one thing. Giving free rein to censors...

Taming the tech giants is one thing. Giving free rein to censors quite another | Nick Cohen


Opposition to censorship should not be based on sympathy for the censored but fear of the censors. To loud applause, the UK government says it wants to implement the most far-reaching web regulation of any western democracy. Too few are noticing that the Conservatives’ answer to the question of how to curb online hate is to give its politicians excessive powers and make Paul Dacre the country’s internet censor-in-chief.

The online safety bill will not only tell Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and search engines they must have systems to prevent illegal content but clamp down on “legal but harmful” posts. What does that mean? Commentators say the regulation of legal speech is in the bill to stop teenagers with anorexia being bombarded with unhealthy diet tips, or the algorithm sending suicide advice to people on the edge of taking their lives, or promoting Ivermectin as a cure for Covid.

For reasons I will get to, we don’t know that yet. We…

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