"Legal but Harmful” Clause in Online Safety Bill Gives Big Tech Unlimited Censorship Powers
The Bill gives tech firms a legal imperative to remove all posts, jokes, memes, videos, links or comments that it deems are 'harmful to adults'.
The “legal but harmful” provisions in the Online Safety Bill give Big Tech executives like Nick Clegg the power to delete perfectly legal posts that woke social justice warriors find offensive, upsetting or just disagree with.
The UK Government's online 'safety' Bill went before parliament this week in its first stage of becoming law. Whilst the Bill's 'sales pitch' claims it will protect free speech and freedom of expression it will, in reality, do exactly the opposite. The Bill gives tech firms a legal imperative to remove all posts, jokes, memes, videos, links or comments that it deems are 'harmful to adults'. This vague category means Big Tech companies like Facebook and Twitter will be the ones who decide what is harmful to others.
The “legal but harmful” provisions in the Online Safety Bill give Big Tech’s executives like Nick Clegg the power to delete perfectly legal posts that woke social justice warriors find offensive or rude. The government is effectively outsourcing censorship to Big Tech’s bosses.
The Bill has been criticised by Toby Young’s Free Speech Union who said the civil service has been so captured by woke special interest groups that the Bill released today creates a legal requirement for perfectly legal content to be taken off the internet. You’ll no longer be free to say online what you could say legally in a pub…
They go on to say
“We are particularly concerned that the government has said it will force social media platforms to remove ‘legal but harmful’ content, including ‘harassment’. That will enable political activists and interest group claiming to speak on behalf of disadvantaged groups to silence their opponents by branding any views they disagree with as ‘harassment’. The government is pouring fuel on the cancel culture fire with this legislation. Forcing social media to remove ‘legal but harmful’ content will give the permanently offended almost unlimited power to silence dissenting views.”
The legislation gives the Secretary of State too much discretionary power to give directions as to what is “harmful” content. Nadine Dorries might not be woke, but the danger any future Labour government undoubtedly will be, and they’ll have the power to enforce woke language policing. It is conceivable that if Lisa Nandy were to become the culture minister she would rule that saying “a woman is an adult female human” is harmful to trans-women.
Tory backbenchers shouldn’t be lining up to crown the likes of Nick Clegg the king of what we can say online. This bill is an Orwellian nightmare and will destroy the last semblance of free speech in Britain.