EU Official Threatens Meta, TikTok, X: Censor Free Speech or Face ‘Penalties’

October 13th, 2023 12:19 PM

A European Union (EU) Commission official has taken a page from the U.S. government’s anti-free speech playbook and demanded that multiple social media companies step up their censorship. 

In an Oct. 11 letter posted to X (formerly Twitter), Belgian EU Commissioner Thierry Breton insisted that Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta take “diligent and objective action following notices of illegal content in the EU.” Breton pointed to content regarding the “terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas against Israel” but did not clarify what he meant by “illegal content.” He also insisted Meta should be “tackling disinformation in the context of elections,” in accord with the EU Digital Services Act (DSA), a direct censorship request. The commissioner was yet more condescending in a letter to X/Twitter, accusing the platform of “disseminat[ing] illegal content and disinformation.” TikTok received a similar lecture. Breton even threatened all the tech companies by stating that “penalties can be imposed” for non-compliance. Did Breton take note of how effectively censorship was used in America to shield government officials and candidates?

“European liberal elites learned from the United States’ deep state how to suppress a story on how to save their skins in the next election based on how effective it was to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story,” said MRC Free Speech America VP Dan Schneider in reaction to the letters. “They’re trying to hide their own complicity and anti-Semitism as European voters wake up to the horrors of the Hamas regime.”

This comes as European officials have already asserted that Elon Musk’s X is apparently hosting “misinformation” about the Hamas-Israel war in violation of DSA. Breton’s letter to X included a lecture with a list of things “you need to” do, including “timely, diligent and objective” action on “disinformation” that allegedly poses “risks to public security and civic discourse.” Breton told X to “report…to my team” and law enforcement regarding what actions it takes to crush content flagged by “relevant authorities.” Breton concluded with the threat of potential “penalties.”

The commissioner made the same accusations of “illegal content and disinformation” to Chinese Communist government-tied TikTok. Breton emphasized his concern was supposedly for “children and teenagers” who use TikTok.

The EU official also called on Meta to take “mitigation measures” and contact “relevant law enforcement authorities and Europol” regarding online content, seemingly urging collusion between government and Big Tech for the purposes of silencing speech. 

Most of Breton’s letter to Meta concerned his worries about election-related content going unchecked by Meta’s censorship oligarchs. Meta’s recent “increased fact-checking” and other measures for the Slovakian elections were not enough, according to Breton. He alleged a problem of “deep fakes and manipulated content.” Breton arrogantly declared: “I remind you that the DSA requires that the risk of amplification of fake and manipulated images and facts generated with the intention to influence elections is taken extremely seriously.”

Breton didn’t stop pushing government-Big Tech collusion to quash free speech, as he requested that Meta share its plans for censoring content prior to multiple upcoming European elections. He also asked for a “prompt, accurate and complete response to these requests (within the next 24 hours for the former)” so he could put Meta’s answers into an “assessment file on your compliance with the DSA.” He concluded with the seeming threat that “penalties can be imposed.”

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand government agencies and Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.