Freedom Activists Worldwide Protest Proposed Macron/EU Internet Lockdowns

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    Fellow Unbelievers,

    Some pressing news from the Article 19 group affecting our members in Europe especially, but really potentially affecting us all:

    EU: Digital Services Act does not provide a green light for platform blocking

    POSTED ON JULY 26, 2023

    EU: Digital Services Act does not provide a green light for platform blocking

    Most noteworthy to Unbelievers and Skeptics are passages on the consequences of Internet lockdowns and what is at stake:

    In 2022, Access Now recorded 62 shutdowns during protests across the globe. Data shows a spike in their use to shroud violence and serious human rights abuse, such as brutal crackdowns on protesters. Research has also highlighted that network disruptions exacerbate the spread of misinformation, as people are denied access to alternative sources of verification channels.


    …internet shutdowns severely hinder the enjoyment of economic, social, and cultural rights, as well as civil and political rights. By no means should arbitrary blocking of Instagram, TikTok, or other social media platforms be viewed as a solution to any event or perceived crisis in a Member State or across the EU.

    Also noteworthy are the signatories to the protest listed at the end. Not only does it include stand-bys like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but those concerned with women, immigrants and Anti-Racism.

    “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.” -James Madison.



    Hi! Internet lockdowns are another way of banning free speech and freedom of expression say no to lockdowns.



    Internet shutdowns in Bangladesh, India, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Myanmar, Sudan and Turkmenistan are just one of the many threats the offending governments pose. Good luck to freedom activists, but that fix would most likely require some kind of a regime change.



    In the US, we don’t shut down the Internet, we censor or “self censor.”*

    * Meaning, under external governmental or advocacy/special interest group pressure to suppress disliked content.

    Of course, one has no expectation of free speech on a platform run by an online business, though given that these platforms have taken over a public forum function, this exemption may deserve review. Why is it you can say anything you want over the telephone or in a teleconference or in person/public but not in a social medium?

    Online censorship has often proven misguided, clumsy, or suspiciously convenient for the platform or the government.

    Bear in mind, now, that Google and Twitter also censor in similar ways and in regard to similar topics.

    The following is from A global look at Youtube and its censorship policies

    List of Biggest YouTube Censorship Hits & Misses

    2016 saw YouTube putting out fires in order to meet their own guidelines. First on the list were automation systems that could target extremist content.

    In 2017 advertisements were banned from being shown on content deemed discriminatory or “hateful”. In the same year this unfortunately also involved censorship of a true human rights issue: atrocities on the Syrian battlefield. YouTube censorships and “shadow bans” have since notoriously been all over the place:

    LGBTQ+ content.

    Videos and accounts using profanity.

    Videos promoting gun sales or giving gun demonstrations.

    Conspiracy videos, most notoriously leading to Infowars being banned.

    The automated filters accidentally flagged channels and videos to do with the AR mobile game Pokemon Go as well as the massively multiplayer online game Club Penguin, due a false signal mistakingly thinking the game levels abbreviation “CP” stood for child pornography.

    Countries Banning/Censoring YouTube

    China – Employs enormous resources and even trains other authoritarian states on how.

    Eritrea – On-and-off relationship with YouTube since 2011.

    Iran – 2012 saw a permanent one after the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ trailer

    North Korea – YouTube is mostly inaccessible with punishments for attempts.

    Sudan – Blocked for a video allegedly showing 2010 ballot-fixing.

    South Sudan – Related to the Innocence of Muslims video.

    Tajikistan – Most recently for a video of President Rakhmon singing out of tune

    Turkmenistan – Since 2009 for security reasons.


    Participant, at least for now, is the major forum that allows most controversial topics to be discussed unsuppressed.

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