By Mike Sygula,
On June 20, an EU committee will vote on a copyright proposal called “Article 13” which states that sites that allow public to post content (like Facebook, Youtube etc) will BE RESPONSIBLE for sharing of copyrighted content by users of these platforms. This means images, video content, memes, text, sound etc. Currently a lot of content shared on platforms like Facebook is copyrighted, memes for example, most memes are just someone taking image and adding text to it and this is breaking copyright law. Most of us are fine with it, it helps us to express ourselves better. After this law will be implemented sites like Facebook will have to monitor and block sharing of this type of content. Any remixes or parodies might get flagged. Currently, if you are the copyright holder and your content is shared on social media without your permission, you can contact the site and ask them to have it removed. Article 13 would block (most likely using buggy algorithms) such content before it gets published.
We know how things work in China. Chinese government censors information online, anything that they don’t agree with can’t even be published and the way it works is to keep the hosting providers responsible for what websites publish. Companies selling server space are monitoring if sites they host are publishing stuff that government would not like.
What EU proposes here sounds very similar, they want to make service providers liable for what is shared on their platforms.
You can imagine where this will evolve. It will first start with Facebook or Instagram or YouTube taking full responsibility for the content published by the users from the basis of copyrights. Obviously they can’t check every piece of content manually so they will use software to do so. We know that these kinds of algorithms are very buggy and make mistakes all the time. Once the fact that service providers are fully responsible for the copyright issues is fully approved, next thing will be to make them monitor any “hate speech”, “fake news” etc. Today anything that is not approved by governments is labeled “fake news”. 9/11 attacks for example, if you share a theory that the official version is invalid this makes you a conspiracy theorist and that means you share fake news so obviously you need to be censored. Already in California the bill has been proposed that would force social media companies to fact check any news or information published on the platforms with “state approved fact checkers”
Make no mistake, this legislation is a trojan horse, they want to do what China does and force social media giants to restrict the information that is shared on these platforms. If you are EU citizen you can tweet or call your MP Read more about it here
We need to act fast, as we have only few days before this the EU committee will vote on this law on 20th of June.