Elon Musk Twitter Takeover: ‘EU Does Not Want Free Speech’ Warns Euro MP
( Breitbart )
A Member of the European Parliament has warned the EU “does not want free speech” after a European Commission official threatened Elon Musk over his takeover of Twitter.
Tom Vandendriessche, an EU-level representative for the Flemish nationalist Vlaams Belang party, has said that the European Union “does not want free speech”, accusing the supranational bloc of wanting to “outsource” censorship to Big Tech corporations.
Vandendriessche’s comments come shortly after one of the European Union’s unelected commissioners, Thierry Breton, issued threats to Elon Musk regarding his Twitter takeover, telling the pro-free speech entrepreneur that he must make sure the platform continues censoring content or face the wrath of Brussels.
In a statement provided by the MEP to Breitbart, Vandendriessche argued that Musk’s publicly-expressed goals for the Twitter microblogging platform are positive and in line with what he has argued for personally in the past — and that the European Union is threatening democracy through its harsh regime of outsourced censorship.
“The EU does not want free speech,” the Flemish MEP said. “That is dangerous for their system.”
“They therefore want to ‘outsource’ censorship to private players,” he continued. “They call that ‘taking responsibility’, but it is nothing less than flat censorship.”
The Flemish nationalist emphasised that both he and his party back the regulation of Big Tech companies, but in order to limit their “arbitrary censorship” of political discourse, which is a threat to democracy.
The European Commission, he argued, only appears interested in regulation that will enforce its own censorship regime.
“Big Tech manages our communications, private data, preferences and even a vital part of our democracy,” he said. “It is precisely this that Big Tech selectively restricts through arbitrary censorship.”
“Elon Musk said that for him freedom of expression online should run parallel to the law,” he continued. “This means that what is legal offline must also be legal online.”
“I defended this principle before the European Parliament, but apart from the abstention of the N-VA [New Flemish Alliance], all other Flemish parties voted against this just principle,” Vandendriessche said.
Vandendriessche’s statement on the Elon Musk takeover runs contrary to the views expressed by Europe’s ruling technocrats, with the bloc’s tsar for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, demanding that Musk keeps Twitter’s regime of censorship in place.
“Elon, there are rules,” the EU bigwig said, before referencing issues around so-called “hate speech” and moderation. “You are welcome but these are our rules. It’s not your rules which will apply here,” he warned.
“If [Twitter] does not comply with our law, there are sanctions — 6 per cent of the revenue and, if they continue, banned from operating in Europe,” he went on to threaten.
Breton is far from the only bureaucrat seemingly unhappy with the takeover, with officials in the United Kingdom also demanding that Musk keeps censoring content it deems problematic.
“Regardless of ownership, all social media platforms must be responsible,” said a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“That includes protecting users from harm on their sites,” the spokesman continued. “It is too early to say what — if any — changes will be made to how Twitter operates.”
However, while those in power both in Europe and America appear largely displeased with the takeover, the American public seems to appreciate Musk’s decision to purchase the major social media platform, with a poll finding 62 per cent of U.S. adults support the takeover.
This is compared to only 13 per cent of adults who believe Twitter will be made worse with Musk at the helm.