Stay Calm and Censor On: Musk Summoned to Parliament to Answer for his Pledge to Restore Free Speech

I previously wrote about Hillary Clinton’s call on European countries to pass censorship laws to force social media companies like Twitter to regulate speech even after Elon Musk’s pledge to restore free speech to Twitter. Now the Parliament has called on Musk to testify and to explain his alarming pledge to restore free speech.

The Biden Administration’s Disinformation Governance Board head, Nina Jankowisz, previously called upon Great Britain to impose state censorship rules. That call has grown since Musk’s purchase. Until now, a unified front of corporate censors was able to maintain an extensive system of censorship with the encouragement of politicians and pundits, including Joe Biden and Democratic members .

The head of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in the House of Commons, Conservative MP Julian Knight has assured her countrymen that they can stay calm and censor on. She issued a letter for Musk to appear before the committee to answer for his terrifying suggestion of free speech:

“At a time when social media companies face the prospect of tighter regulations around the world, we’re keen to learn more about how Mr Musk will balance his clear commitment to free speech with new obligations to protect Twitter’s users from online harms.”

Like the EU’s censorship plans under the Digital Services Act, the proposed Online Safety Bill would introduce state censorship through the purview of Ofcom (The Office of Communications), the broadcasting regulator in Britain. It would allow the company to fine firms up to ten percent of their global revenue should they violate ill-defined “harm” standards.

If passed, Clinton and others hope that the Europeans can replace corporate censorship with good old-fashioned state censorship. This includes confiscatory fines for anything deemed “grossly offensive.“  The bill would allow countries like Great Britain to impose censorship on the rest of the world.

The decline of free speech in the United Kingdom has long been a concern for free speech advocates  (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). Once you start as a government to criminalize speech, you end up on a slippery slope of censorship. What constitutes hate speech or “malicious communications” remains a highly subjective matter and we have seen a steady expansion of prohibited terms and words and gestures. Even having “toxic ideologies” is now a crime.

Great Britain would now make censorship one of its greatest exports. To do so, they first have to stomp out advocates for free speech like Musk by threatening to bankrupt his company if it tries to restore free speech to the Internet.

82 thoughts on “Stay Calm and Censor On: Musk Summoned to Parliament to Answer for his Pledge to Restore Free Speech”

  1. The American Founders, in 1789, revealed that rights and freedoms are natural and God-given; rights and freedoms existed before government was conceived.

    The American Founders weren’t asking, they were revealing, for the uninitiated.

    Nature and God pervade the multi-verse; they are everywhere.

    Natural and God-given rights and freedoms pervade the multi-verse; they are everywhere and for everyone.

    More than a few backward nations have not yet received the memo.

    1. (59 years later, Marx and Lincoln introduced the unnatural and Devil-given, dictatorial enslavement, chains and constraints of the Communist Manifesto, enforced by brute force and a vicious, barbaric military).

  2. The more liberal a nation becomes, the less it values free speech. European countries are notorious for speech restrictions. I would love to see a study on the psychology behind this fear of free and open debate.

    1. French Revolution is textbook example. While Hollywood characterized the French Revolution as lovely, it was anything but.

      Their reign of terror is now ours. Their Jacobin guillotine movement is our ANTIFA BLM Woke cancel culture religionists.

      Maximilien Robespierre led the Reign of Terror, a violent dechristianizing movement, widespread murdering of Catholic clerics, and suppressing free speech. Our Robespierre is Biden’s handlers. Their Committee of Public Safety is Biden’s Disinformation Governance Board. Robespierre was guillotined by his own Jacobins. Today’s Left will do likewise to Biden. It will be curious to see what they do at the homes of the Pro-Life SCOTUS members, particularly Alito and Barrett. Guillotine? “Burn it all down” as they remind us daily?

      Today’s Jacobin Leftists are creating a pushback that will make Trump / Jan 6 Capitol riots look like a tea party.

      1. Estovir,

        Didn’t the bloodthirsty Trumpist mob bring a gallows to the Capitol to hang Mike Pence?

        Or was that Fake News?

        1. I seem to recall the Leftist NYT called for the lynching of Pence, mimicking the French Revolution Jacobins.

          https://thepostmillennial.com/nyt-contributor-calls-for-the-lynching-of-mike-pence/

          Jan 21, 2021 3:42 PM EST

          NYT contributor calls for the lynching of Mike Pence in the name of ‘unity’

          A contributor for The New York Times called for President Joe Biden on Inauguration Day to lynch former Vice President Mike Pence in order to achieve political unity in the country.

          A contributor for The New York Times called for President Joe Biden on Inauguration Day to lynch former Vice President Mike Pence in order to achieve political unity in the country.

          While the political left obsessed over the potential threat of violence from Trump supporters on Inauguration Day, opinion writer Will Wilkinson—also the vice president for research at the Niskanen Center—took to social media to claim that Biden should execute the former Republican vice president by lynching.

          In the now-deleted tweet, the leftist think tank executive wrote late Wednesday night: “If Biden really wanted unity, he’d lynch Mike Pence.” He has since locked down his account. However, the screenshots still circulated.

          1. Typical of liars like you Trumpists, you edited out this statement by the contributor Wilkinson:

            “Wilkinson returned the following day to Twitter to explain the post, claiming the statement was “sharp sarcasm” and meant in jest.

            On the other hand, the Trumpists screaming “Hang Mike Pence” were not joking.

  3. I don’t know how anyone takes our Democratic party seriously anymore. Sure, let’s ask people with no jurisdiction in our country to chime in. This is egregious in the extreme. Kinda done mincing words – if you still vote dem, you are an idiot. And again, no, Conservative is not the automatic response to that, I am more dumbstruck by the general ignorance in this country than anything else. We are definitely teetering on an edge. Push us over or pull us back. It’s up to you and me.

  4. British governments have been in favor of controlled speech for a very long time. The penalty for bad speech in the past in Britain has been death. Now if you are guilty of wrong speech you will have to pay a very heavy fine. If you continue your final destination will be the tower of London prison cell.https://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/history-and-stories/tower-of-london-prison/#gs.z0oxy1. These prison cells were 46.8 inches square. Less than four feet by four feet. One would think that given Britain’s history of control they would make every effort not to repeat their failings of the past. Alas, today we must continue to resist the depravity of man.

    1. There were the and still are now valid reasons we violently split the sheets with Great Britain. Remember, they continue willingly to bow to a greater worldly authority.

  5. Elon Musk should send them a copy of the DoI asking them how that worked out for them the last time.

    Nor have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.

    1. Olly, it is sad that in our modern era we are still fighting for our right to speak freely. PayPal is now holding the funds of those who are not in agreeance with their political positions. PayPal is withholding these funds for up to 180 days. PayPal also states that these funds may not be returned for any cause determined not by law but by PayPal. The confiscation of these funds will be justified as “damages.” Last year PayPal said that it would be cooperating with the government in a content moderation campaign. To put it more succinctly, PayPal has become an arm of the new government Disinformation Board and they will be given a free pass to steal your money. If you have any money in a PayPal account you should be careful about what you post on this blog. They have ways of making sure that you comply.

      1. Olly, it is sad that in our modern era we are still fighting for our right to speak freely.

        Think, the sad reality is the fight is never over because human nature never changes. I believe we can all agree that government is necessary. In its purest form, the purpose for government is to secure the right to life, liberty and property equally for its citizens. That’s a great vision. I had an interesting discussion several years ago regarding these rights, as I was trying to understand what we give up when we go from the state of nature and enter civil society. His explanation was as follows. We don’t give up these rights. We retain 100% of these rights, but we disable a minority percentage of their security to government. The people are essentially the majority shareholders in the security of rights. History has shown that government will seek to become the majority shareholder. So when conservatives argue for limited government, they are talking about keeping the government in check so that they do not encroach on our majority position. This is a tug-of-war that will always exist.

        1. Olly,

          You left out the Trumpist myth of the so-called “Deep State” in your analysis. Where does it fit in?

          Can’t wait!

          1. You have every right to believe it’s a myth. It all depends on how one defines deep state to see how it may or not fit into the analysis. This Huffpo article has a good definition.

            The deep state is, in fact, a very real thing. It is, however, neither a secret nor nearly as glamorous as the concept might indicate. It has been in place since 1871 and continues to represent the real mechanism beneath the federal government, controlling and frequently reshaping elected officials’ policies. This entity is called the civil service, and it was created to limit the power of the president.

            1. I’ll buy the notion of an entrenched civil service, but that is a far cry from the Trumpist “Deep State” myth as described in “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” by American historian Richard J. Hofstadter.

              1. How did Hafstadter describe, in 1964, the “Trumpist “Deep State” myth”? As a matter of fact, what is the “Trumpist Deep State myth”?

                  1. You tell me. I’m not a Trumpist who cries out, “Deep State.”

                    Yet you are the one crying out about whatever “it” is as a myth. Either you know enough about it to call it a myth, or you are just crying out. Your choice.

                    1. Obviously, you can’t or won’t defend the paranoid and delusional notion of a “Deep State.” I’m glad.

                    2. Obviously, you can’t or won’t defend the paranoid and delusional notion of a “Deep State.” I’m glad.

                      Silberman,
                      Why would I need to? You effectively walked up to me in the middle of a conversation to ask me some question without context or definition. I politely provided you an article from Huffpo of all places that provided a reasonable definition and explanation on why that author concluded the deep state is not a myth; that it actually exists. You accepted and I’m assuming here, that the deep state exists in a form or definition you agree with. But according to you, the Trumpist “Deep State” myth is somehow different and you cite a 1964 author that describes that somehow. And when pressed on how, you couldn’t. When pressed on your definition of the Trumpist “Deep State” myth, again you took a pass. And bizarrely you conclude it’s me that can’t or won’t defend something you can’t or won’t define. 😏

                      Now shoo, go troll some other conversation.

                    3. You know full well that the notion of a civil service sworn to uphold the Constitution and dedicating their productive lives to defend it bears no relation to the villainous “Deep State” insinuations of lying Trumpists and Q-Anon cultists.

                      I’m just relieved that you are intent upon keeping your distance from such irrational paranoia.

      2. TiT claims:

        “PayPal is now holding the funds of those who are not in agreeance with their political positions.”

        Can you reference where you read this?

  6. If I was Musk I would tell Parliament to list their questions and submit them to my attorneys. Further I would say I am not a British subject and you have NO AUTHORITY OVER ME. Otherwise provide adequate travel and accommodations or reimbursement for my expenses!

    1. Musk does not own Twitter yet, has merely stirred the hornet nest be making an offer. Twitter revealed themselves a farce with heavily inflated user numbers and corporate value. I would like Musk to go and stir Parliament as well, and ask what the brits we’re thinking when they interfered with our elections and undermining of our president with their propaganda and “misinformation.” It cuts both ways, liars.

    2. You’re amusing. If anything, he should tell THEM to come to HIM, & they can arrange their own damned travel & accommodations: for me it’s hard to imagine a giant like Elon having the time or fairy-tale noblesse oblige to go halfway around the world to play disgusting interrogation games with these odious cockatrices.

  7. In just the last few days, we have learned that::

    1. Gavin Newsom was attacked as a transphobe by the “liberal” left for daring to say in an abortion rights speech yesterday that men cannot get pregnant. This was about the same time as the Governor of Oregon and her democrat legislature passed the “Menstrual Dignity Act” which requires placing menstrual products in all public bathrooms, including those for boys (since boys now can menstruate).

    2. As Professor Turley wrote, a student group at Harvard (where else) is petitioning to have a symposium canceled. The subject which is filled with “violent ableists” is on autism and features five or six nationally recognized experts on the subject. A thrust of the program is to be a discussion of effective treatments– and there’s the rub. To suggest that those with autism need treatment is violent because it fails to accept them as they are.

    3. The newly created (or to be created) DHS “Disinformation Board” will be headed by Nina Jankowicz, a democrat who famously called Hunter Biden’s laptop “Russian disinformation” and who vouched for the truth of the Steele dossier. Her job will be to call out those who spread disinformation to others.

    4. If you disagree with the Supreme Court’s draft decision on abortion, the liberal left says you are justified in trying to terrorize the members who support it by demonstrating at their homes and by threatening assassination so much so that they are having to cancel public appearances.

    Our country soon will be lost if our current direction is not turned around. America is being destroyed by people who always have hated the values on which it was founded and are determined (as proclaimed publicly by BLM) to tear it down and rebuild it in their image. Because they have no sense or knowledge of history, no love or concern for their fellow men and women, and because they have no common sense, they do not allow themselves to consider that a country or empire will reach a tipping point where recovery no longer is possible and rebuilding is nothing more than a silly dream.

  8. The phrase “[P]rotect Twitter’s users from online harms” caught my eye with “harms” being of most interest. What harms can possibly exist in a virtual world that are any different than the real world? In reality there are far fewer online harms than real life harms–physical harms don’t exist online.

    There are only three harms common to online and real life: 1) Minors exposed to age-inappropriate content, 2) hurt feelings, and 3) illegal activity.

    Harm #1 is reason enough for parents to deny social media access until middle school. Simply allow children to use direct/group SMS text messaging and email on a locked-down device, so parents have complete control over the exposure. Private schooling and home schooling may be required.

    Harm #2 is life. The best we can do is prepare children at an early age with age-appropriate tools to deal with bullies, bigots, and perverts. We must encourage parents to cultivate resilient, tick-skinned individuals who don’t “melt” at the slightest “heat”, pressure, or hardship. Although it’s their right, “helicopter parents” who insist on removing all hardship, discomfort, and risk from their child’s life are doing them and society far greater harms that a couple of mean Tweets. When children are adequately schooled in Harm #2, then they may be ready for social media.

    Harm #3 is the law. America is a Rule of Law country. Let’s ensure all people abide by laws that are equally applied, equally adjudicated, and equally punished.

  9. The nice thing about owning Twitter is that you can choose where to allow it to run.

    What would happen if Twitter would suddenly stop working in the UK or any post is first sent to the OfCom office for approval.
    (That would crush them. Ofcom that is.)

    The other thing I have to wonder about… wasn’t there this guy Cromwell? 😉

    -G

    1. Just ignore the ignoramus. Let UK politicians ban THEIR citizens from Twitter. See how that works out for THEM!

  10. I must have missed the news report from the past in which the corporate heads of other social media companies such as Facebook, Google/YouTube, and any or all of the others, were invited to Parliament.
    I can’t wait to see what Elon does with his ‘invitation.’
    I dare say it will be uniquely ‘Muskian.’

    Perhaps he could offer a discount on a trip to Mars?

  11. For all this democracy talk by ‘our betters’ and in US add 1A ‘our betters’ don’t want us freely exercising our God given right to speech. Strange…..

    1. Fine. Cut GB off from Twitter and let their citizens deal with their elected officials who believe in censorship.

  12. Twitter must adapt it’s technology to comply with the laws of each nation it chooses to do business with, and avoid doing business in nations that exploit the platform to oppress. Such is the multicultural world we live in. We can and must insist on unfettered speech here in the U.S. however.

  13. Cut them off. The Freedom of Britons is not our problem, nor of Ukrainians, for that matter.

    1. Exactly! If Britain wants to deprive its citizens access to Twitter then so be it. I do hope Musk is a man who will stand by his words.

    2. The American Founders, in 1789, revealed, for everyone but you, apparently, that rights and freedoms are natural and God-given; they existed before government was conceived.

      The American Founders weren’t asking, they were revealing, for the uninitiated.

      Nature and God pervade the multi-verse; they are everywhere.

      Natural and God-given rights and freedoms pervade the multi-verse; they are everywhere and for everyone.

      More than a few backward nations have not yet received the memo.

      1. (59 years later, Marx and Lincoln introduced the unnatural and Devil-given, dictatorial enslavement, chains and constraints of the Communist Manifesto, enforced by brute force and a vicious, barbaric military).

  14. Why are AMERICAN legislators concerned with what EUROPEAN legislators do, and with what laws EUROPEAN legislators pass?

    1. (a) because they are globalists at heart; and (b) because they want to try to get indirectly that which they can not get directly. Screw the bunch of ’em. We had this little “insurrection” around 1776 to let Great Britain know what we thought of their governance.

  15. If they need an explanation regarding his wish to restore freedom of speech he’s better off staying home.

  16. My forebears left their homelands to escape such violation of basic rights. I have often noted how it appears that the voices of those in this country who advocate violation of free speech and other key rights have been calling for a return to much of what people come here from their homelands to escape.

    1. WaAb,

      Your forebears left you a succinct message. You may have missed it.
      ______________________________________________________

      “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

      – Declaration of Independence, 1776

  17. If I were Ukrainian, I would think that getting better, more effective help from the West is like pulling teeth. Russian bombers are still at liberty to bomb. Russian missile launchers are still at liberty to launch their missiles. Russian artillery is still at liberty to fire their projectiles.
    The West has the means to stop the death and destruction by destroying the Russian weapons. More should be done to destroy the Russian weapons that are causing so much death and destruction in Ukraine. Why does the Black Sea fleet still exist? Why has it not been sunk yet? Does no one in the entire world have the means to sink it?
    Would sinking it help the Ukrainians? The means to do more exist. I know because I saw it on TV during the Gulf War, and the Iraq war. Who can forget the Highway of Death and General Schwarzkopfs speeches and briefings? The same kinds of things could be done to great effect. It would probably be cheaper to prevent all of this death and destruction now by destroying the Russian weapons, than it would be to rebuild Ukraine later. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s in America’s interest to save money. How is it in America’s interest to pay more later? It is cheaper to prevent the theft of your jewels than it is to replace them later. How is it in America’s interest to have a greater expense later, than a lesser expense now?

    1. Firstly, ……nuclear war is not survivable.

      Secondly, …you should educate yourself about the Minsk Treaty and the terror of the last 8 years of Ukrainian Azov battalions shelling the Donbas region of Ukraine, whose people speak Russian.

      1. I could not care less what language people speak. It’s completely irrelevant. If we are going to talk agreements let’s talk about the Budapest Memorandum that guaranteed Ukraine’s borders at the time of independence in exchange for giving up its nuclear weapons.

      1. Turning back to the US for a minute, Mayorkas must think we are fools. He is now saying that the purpose of the DGB is to establish “guardrails” and collect “best practices” to ensure that the disinformation work currently being done by DHS fully protects civil rights, civil liberties and free speech. If that is the mission, why hire Mary Poppins rather than a recognised civil libertarian lawyer to head it?

      2. How’s your little Hitler wannabe “President’s” health doing today, tovarish?

    2. The solution to the Ukraine issue is to surrender Joe Biden and all his criminal organization, the “Deep State”, to Russian authorities, for crimes committed in Ukraine, which would fill many books.

  18. I’ve thought for some time that many EU countries were already fascist as they like in regard to this issue, so it isn’t exactly a surprise, per se, but I suppose I naively thought we’d consider them object lessons rather than inspiration. Their claims of taking Silicon Valley companies to task with their digital initiatives are precisely the opposite, and this is ridiculous.

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