Nick Clegg Could Use Govt Bill To Censor Marriage Comments
Could defending real marriage soon be banned online? That’s the question many are asking as the Government’s Online Safety Bill inches closer to becoming law.
While there is certainly a need for additional online safeguards, particularly for protecting children, the proposed new law has been widely criticised for banning ‘legal but harmful’ content. It will impose a maximum penalty of a massive 10% of a company’s annual worldwide turnover for failing to remove user-generated content deemed “harmful”. This includes comments, posts or videos that are viewed as risking “a significant adverse physical or psychological impact on an adult of ordinary sensibilities”, even “indirectly”.
This definition is very vague and left up to companies and ultimately courts to determine. But when bombarded with complaints of ‘harm’ from LGBT activists, it is hard to imagine many companies taking the risk and leaving ‘controversial’ content up.
To make matters worse, Facebook’s new President of Global Affairs is former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Nick Clegg. The same Nick Clegg who, when UK Deputy Prime Minister in 2012 and 2013, called supporters of real marriage “bigots” and ‘dinosaurs’.
Conservative MP David Davis asks rhetorically: “Do you want Nick Clegg to be the supreme censor of what you write online?”
Of course we don’t. But that could be where things are headed, with serious consequences for the freedom of marriage supporters to share their views via the internet. If you think censorship and ‘cancel culture’ are bad now, wait till this law comes in.
Spectator editor Fraser Nelson notes that already Facebook will “blacklist a publisher who prints what they regard as wrong-think” so that “your content isn’t promoted”. This problem would get many times worse.
Ministers and MPs need to think again on this legislation before we lose more of our precious freedoms to speak up for marriage.