EU is Terrified of Free Speech on Elon Musk’s Twitter, MEP Says

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 24: Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaves the Phillip Burton Fede
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The idea that free speech could spread on Elon Musk’s Twitter is terrifying many within the European Union, an MEP serving in the bloc’s parliament has said.

Tom Vandendriessche, a Flemish nationalist elected representative within the European Parliament, has told Breitbart that the EU’s repeated attacks on Elon Musk and his social media platform Twitter are the result of the bloc fearing the impact of free speech.

Senior officials within the union have repeatedly attacked the platform since Musk’s takeover last year, with some commissioners even threatening to ban the platform from the EU should the billionaire refuse to implement the union’s censorship regime.

Such pressure has only increased with the continued implementation of Brussels’ Digital Services Act, which is set to force major social media platforms to implement more measures tackling what the bloc calls “disinformation”, including by working with so-called independent “fact checkers”.

This attempt at radical censorship may not be coming from a position of strength, however, with Vandendriessche telling Breitbart Europe that, in reality, many within the union actually fear the potential impact free speech could have on those in power.

“Social media has broken the control over the information people get to see,” the politician, who is a member of the populist Vlaams Belang party, told Breitbart Europe.

The MEP went on to explain that the availability of “free information is far too dangerous for those in power”, with senior officials in the bloc now desperate to clamp down on online platforms to maintain control.

“That’s why they want to ‘regulate’ social media,” he continued, emphasising that EU talk of “hate speech and fake news” is really about people being able to contradict narratives drawn up by those in power, in turn allowing them to doubt the bloc’s “imposed version of reality”.

Ultimately, Vandendriessche says that the EU’s view of censorship is closer to that of the Chinese Communist Party than the views held by those in the United States, with Musk’s takeover of Twitter getting such a hostile reaction from senior Eurocrats due to them perceiving the social media platform as a threat to their power.

“[T]he European Union is importing the Chinese totalitarian communist model where modern technology is used to oppress and disenfranchise citizens,” he said.

“Ever since Elon Musk took over Twitter with the intention of making this the marketplace of ideas again, they have been threatening him,” he continued. “They fear that citizens will be able to speak freely on Twitter. Because they fear being driven from power.”

The latest of these threats appeared to drop last week, with the bloc publicly admonishing Twitter for failing to implement the union’s anti-“disinformation” rules.

Although such a transgression does not come with any penalty as of writing, things are set to change this coming September, when many major social media platforms will begin to face fines of up to six per cent of their global revenue should they not obey EU censorship demands as set out by the Digital Services Act.

It remains ultimately unclear whether or not Musk will abide by the demands of the Union, with Twitter being ultimately slow to implement the EU’s censorship regime despite the billionaire Tech tsar repeatedly affirming to senior officials that he will make the platform abide by the bloc’s rules.

Follow Peter Caddle on Twitter: @Peter_Caddle
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