The EU’s Mass Censorship Regime Is Almost Fully Operational. Will It Go Global?

Authored by Nick Corbishley via

Government censorship of public online discourse in the West’s ostensibly liberal democracies has been largely covert until now, as revealed by the Twitter Files. But thanks to the EU’s Digital Services Act, it is about to become overt. 

Next month, a little-known development will occur that could end up having huge repercussions for the nature of public discourse on the Internet all over the planet. August 25, 2023, is the date by which big social media platforms will have to begin fully complying with the European Union’s Digital Services Act or DSA. The DSA, among many other things, obliges all “Very Large Online Platforms”, or VLOPs, to speedily remove illegal content, hate speech and so-called disinformation from their platforms. If not, they risk fines of up to 6% of their annual global revenue.

The Commission has so far compiled a list of 19 VLOPs and VLOSEs (Very Large Online Search Engines), most of them from the US, that will have to begin complying with the DSA in 50 days’ time:

  • Alibaba AliExpress
  • Amazon Store
  • Apple AppStore
  • Facebook
  • Google Play
  • Google Maps
  • Google Shopping
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok
  • Twitter
  • Wikipedia
  • YouTube
  • Zalando

Very Large Online Search Engines (VLOSEs):

  • Bing
  • Google Search

Smaller platforms will have to begin tackling illegal content, hate speech and disinformation from 2024 onwards, assuming the legislation is effective.

Ominously, as Robert Kogon reports for (granted, not the most popular source of information on NC, but it’s a good, well-researched piece), the DSA “includes a ‘crisis response mechanism’ (Art. 36) that is clearly modelled on the European Commission’s initially ad hoc response to the conflict in Ukraine and which requires platforms to adopt measures to mitigate crisis-related ‘misinformation.’”

In a speech in early June, EU Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, made it crystal clear which country is the current prime target of the EU’s censorship agenda (no points for guessing):

Cooperation among signatories and the high number of new organisations willing to sign the new Code of Practice shows that it has become an effective and dynamic instrument to fight disinformation. However, progress remains too slow on crucial aspects, especially when it comes to dealing with pro-Kremlin war propaganda or independent access to data…

As we prepare for the 2024 EU elections, I call on platforms to increase their efforts in fighting disinformation and address Russian information manipulation, and this in all Member States and languages, whether big or small.

Click here to read more.


Zero Hedge
Back to top button