The European Union is talking about disinformation, lies, on the internet during the recent European elections. What they really mean is that they want us to stop talking about bendy bananas. To the point that we should be forced to stop talking about bendy bananas:
Russian bots tried to influence EU elections, says Brussels
Scary, eh? As opposed to the full force of the Brussels “information” machine telling us about those same elections.
An initial report by the European Commission has found that bots and fake accounts traced to Russia spread false information online in the run up to the poll in an attempt to radicalise debate and amplify divisive content. The Commission stated that the elections were far from a “disinformation-free zone”.
The devil is in that detail of the definition of “disinformation”.
“This is not suggesting we would be trying to set up some authority to determine whether particular pieces of political content were good or bad because that would obviously be a form of censorship,” Mr King added.
That’s a different point. Good and or bad are different from factual or not. And we’ve already got the EU insisting upon its own definition of facts. Bendy bananas being a good example.
At least until recently EU law as transposed into English made it a criminal offence to sell “bananas of excessive curvature – unless from the Azores or Canary Islands – for direct human consumption”. The EU’s Euromyths page used to say that this was untrue, was in fact a lie.
Except that it was entirely true. Their explanation was that the EU simply transposed the Codex Alimentarus into EU regs and thus law. Which is true. And the Codex talks of what is a Class 1 banana, which is one free of excessive curvature. Entirely true.
Except the Codex is the book of what varied industries use internally as their varied classification systems. A Class 1 is free of excessive etc. The EU transposed that into criminal law, which is the point claimed and the mistake made. That regulation might say “Here is what the industry uses” is fair enough. Even “You can’t claim to be Class 1 unless you….”. But to insist that “It’s illegal to sell anything other than Class 1 by this industry standard” is the insanity being complained of.
And I do write as one of the very few people around here who has actually written an international standard. Different industry but of exactly the type that the Codex collates and the EU makes criminal law.
So, what do we think will happen here? The EU gets everyone to agree to censor disinformation. During an election time to start maybe but no one thinks it will stop there. The EU bans bendy bananas. Will that be disinformation to be banned?
All those stating no have just failed the test. Because of course those in power will use what powers they have to remain there. This being even more true of systems than individual people.