UN to roll out EU approach to online censorship worldwide

13 June 2023 | UN Secretary-General António Guterres has presented a programme which aims to ensure that content disrupting the “empirically supported consensus on facts, science and knowledge” disappears from online platforms and online media. He is calling content providers’ ability to “undermine scientifically established facts with disinformation” nothing less than “an existential risk to humanity”.

With his policy brief “Intormation Inegrity on Digital Platforms”, the UN Secretary-General, goes below the level of toothpaste TV commercials to sell his anti-scientific-totalitarian programme, which unquestioningly presupposes a defined scientific truth and demonises disputes about it. Blown up to page size, the report says: “75% of UN peacekeepers said misinformation and disinformation impacted their safety and security”.

Elsewhere one then reads: “70% of UN peacekeepers said misinformation and disinformation had SEVERE, CRITICAL or little (moderate) influence on their work”.

So those who said the impact was low (moderate) were lumped together with wevere and critical in order to arrive at a high figure, and yet the proportion is five percentage points lower than the 75 per cent who allegedly feel their security is compromised by “disinformation”. This is highly dubious and it does not add up.This, then, is the standard of truth that the UN wants to enforce as a global ministry of truth.

Probably to distract from this, “severe” and “critical” are printed large and bold, “moderate” is added only in about a third of the font size. Such methods do not instill trust in how the UN intends to ensure “information integrity” on the internet.

Guterres sinks even lower with the graphically emphasized statement: “Hate speech has been a precursor to atrocity crimes including GENOCIDE”.

That is of course true. But by far the most and worst of these crimes predate the internet. As a rule, hate speech that incited genocide did not come from opposition minorities, but from the government or other powerful groups that would not be curbed by censorship measures, but would rather use them themselves to amplify their hate messages. Linking doubters of man-made climate change or of the efficacy of mRNA-vaccination to genocide is demagogic.

The plans of the UN

Following the example of the EU, whose Digital Services Act and “voluntary” code of conduct for internet platforms are presented and praised in the paper, the Secretary-General announces that the UN will hold broad consultations with stakeholders to develop a UN code of conduct, including mechanisms for enforcement.

He will also establish a dedicated capacity “to scale up the response to online disinformation or misinformation and hate speech”. Based on expert monitoring and analysis, this office will “develop tailored communication strategies to anticipate or respond quickly to threats before they cause harm”.

This sounds like a large-scale project to monitor and manipulate public opinion.

German version


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Foto: Sebastian Rentsch
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