The United States is tracking in Europe’s footprints, working towards making hate speech illegal. Vera Jourova, vice president for Values and Transparency for the European Commission, sees it coming, regardless how the Supreme Court has upheld the First Amendment. Jourova spoke at a World Economic Forum panel in Davos hosted by Brian Stetler regarding “The Clear and Present Danger of Disinformation.”
Hate speech in the crosshairs
Jourova is a Czech politician who previously served as the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. The former Fake News CNN host Stetler might also be an ironic choice for that panel considering he himself might have regularly spewed that disinformation.
Jourova noted, “Illegal hate speech, which you will have soon also in the U.S. I think that we have a strong reason why we have this in the criminal law.” The panel included the New York Times chairman Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, Democrat Congressman Seth Moulton and the CEO of Internews Jeanne Bourgault.
European Commission VP Věra Jourová at the World Economic Forum:
“Illegal hate speech, which you will have soon also in the U.S. I think that we have a strong reason why we have this in the criminal law.” pic.twitter.com/iLR1MePTYT
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) January 17, 2023
Speech is how ideas are shared
Moulton agreed with Jourova but he didn’t think American politicians were ready to let go of freedom of speech. “I think in general the US has a lot to learn in terms of data regulation, internet regulation… You’re way ahead of us in that regard.”
The Twitter CEO Elon Musk is one of the items on the table. Brussels isn’t happy with him because he so strongly believes in freedom of speech.
Fines or banning
Europe’s definition of hate speech may differ from Musk’s. The EU may ask him to work with them to find those events. Jourova mentioned, “We need the platforms to work with the language to identify such cases.”
She said the European laws will be enforced. “They apply to Twitter regardless of who owns it. Musk should not underestimate our efforts to make big platforms responsible. Regulators are already closely monitoring compliance with the applicable data protection rules, and we will be able to enforce the Digital Services Act later this year as well.”
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Author: Patti Walbridge
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