Inside the EU and UN

Censorship project


June 21, 2024
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Can bureaucracy conceal a system of censorship?

Paul Coleman is executive director of Alliance Defending Freedom and has been involved in more than 20 cases before the European Court of Human Rights. He is the author of Censored (2016), about the rise of European hate crime laws. He joins UnHerd’s Freddie Sayers to demystify the inner workings of the international censorship complex.

You can watch the full interview above.


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Tessa B
Tessa B
20 days ago

Thank you.
Note the speakers here:
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2024/01/global-risks-report-2024-live-press-conference/
and first bullet point here:
https://www.weforum.org/press/2024/01/global-risks-report-2024-press-release/
WEF January 2024:
“Rise of disinformation and conflict
Concerns over a persistent cost-of-living crisis and the intertwined risks of AI-driven misinformation and disinformation, and societal polarization dominated the risks outlook for 2024. The nexus between falsified information and societal unrest will take centre stage amid elections in several major economies that are set to take place in the next two years. Interstate armed conflict is a top five concern over the next two years. With several live conflicts under way, underlying geopolitical tensions and corroding societal resilience risk are creating conflict contagion.”
Lots to think about. Thank you for a great interview.

Saul D
Saul D
20 days ago

The interviews are often very interesting, and this one on the censorship networks brings out a number of big themes about how we’re being railroaded into controlled opinions. However, it would be very useful to have links to materials that we can read and that go deeper into the topic. For instance, I’d never heard of ADF before. What other groups doing similar sorts of monitoring work, and where are civil society groups pushing back against the undemocratic international edicts?

Saul D
Saul D
20 days ago
Reply to  Saul D

I think also you have to look at the history of the rise of personal political foundations (for instance that are created when a political leader leaves office). When the voters don’t vote for it, you pursue politics by other means – where you don’t have democracy or public opinion interfering.

Tessa B
Tessa B
10 days ago
Reply to  Saul D

I try and follow Alison McDowell (Wrench in the Gears blog) and Ben Rubin substack. I might not agree with all of their conclusions, others may not agree with all their conclusions, but both are excellent at digging out information which in theory can be checked. Few have the time to go deeper. Corporate influence on SDGs? Public debate on pros and cons of SDGs…and the control of information? Keep digging deeper.
The pros and cons of central control?
It’s all got to be unpicked….in the main NGOs, academics and politicians are not going to do it, some are part of it or reliant on funding.
Ben Rubin
https://riseuk.substack.com/p/a-very-political-foundation
Interesting:
https://informedheart.substack.com/p/who-or-what-is-behind-arc
https://www.tni.org/en/article/the-corporate-capture-of-global-governance-and-what-we-are-doing-about-it.
https://www.etcgroup.org/issues/international-governance
Viscount Jonathan Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Department for Science, Innovation & Technology·
At the heart of British fact checking is the UK government, which has its own fact checking platform, the Counter Disinformation Unit (CDU) that was initially formed to monitor elections but in 2020 widened its remit to cover what is described as ‘inadvertent sharing of false information’ as well as ‘deliberate malinformation, misinformation and disinformation’. The government states that this occurs when content poses a demonstrable risk to public health, safety, or national security or when it is assessed to breach the platform’s terms of service[i]. The CDU was part of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) until February 2023, when it was moved to the Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT). 
Note A complicated issue….fake news and inconvenient truths or questions….?
https://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2023/sessions/the-clear-and-present-danger-of-disinformation/

Tessa B
Tessa B
10 days ago
Reply to  Saul D

https://www.anhinternational.org/news/anh-speaks-out-on-freedom-and-free-speech
You may or may not agree with all of the views expressed in the video.

David M
David M
18 days ago

Very interesting discussion. Theose international bodies and supra-national organisations are clever. They exert influence by creating layers of complexity, boring treaties, or as they mention here when those are difficult to pass similar things can be achieved through ‘guidance’, ‘frameworks’ or ‘training’ instead.
What strikes me is it’s always a top down approach. People in certain circles who want to control and manipulate what others can say or do or access.
I can see how national governments see the appeal of outsourcing these tasks to ‘higher bodies’. It means they don’t have to do it. They get to escape accountability, they can sit back and criticize the other organisation. It explains why the UK political class were so keen to remain part of the EU and why they vehemently opposed Brexit.
If the problems are top down it strikes me that the solutions need to be bottom up. Smaller, independent journalism like Unherd, like writers on Substack, organizations like Paul Coleman’s ADF.
Then at a political level it really needs to come back to a contract with your constituents. A contract between MP and constituents that they will not outsource all of these important decisions to 3rd parties who we don’t know, don’t trust and can’t control.

Tessa B
Tessa B
9 days ago