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Authoritarian Tip Toe

  • 28-03-2023 10:27pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,335 ✭✭✭


    December 10th 2022 an Online Safety & Media Regulation Bill headed by Catherine Martin Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, was signed into law. On Wednesday the new media regulator Comisiún na Meán (Media Commission) was formally established, It will have an Online Safety Commissioner who will will be able to issue content limitation notices to online services in respect of 'harmful content', and fine or block access to online services for non-compliance. The Commissioner will also be allowed to request user information. There will be a 'super-complaints scheme' where 'expert NGOs' can bring systemic issues to the attention of the Media Commission. One category of online content defined as 'harmful' is content 'by which a person bullies or humiliates another person'.

    The government announced it established a ‘group’ with the aim of countering the spread of 'false and harmful material' and the damaging impact disinformation has on Irish society and democracy. It was signed into effect by Green Party’s Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, will look to create ways to further "fact-checking" and disinformation research in line with the National Counter Disinformation Strategy, recommended by the Future of Media Commission in an attempt to establish relationships between social media platforms and academics. The external advisory board of The Institute for Future Media, Democracy & Society in DCU will be heading the EU’s Misinformation project for Ireland, chaired by Martina Chapman, the national coordinator for Media Literacy Ireland. The role it will play in government is not clear yet but its intentions and primary function are as I would suspect: to be the arbiters of information and the truth, not only to police speech and the way it's delivered online. 

    The most obvious concern is the government thinking they are in a position to curate a department of individuals who are susceptible to their bias, to police information and online content in order to present their version of the truth as fact. Orwellian. The bill expands the state's regulation of the media to include online user-generated content, but it goes way beyond regulating what they want to define as "hate speech" as we are seeing with the Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill. It also seeks to provide the framework to censor legal online content which a "reasonable person" would find "harmful".

    This 'group' is not here to educate the public on how to distinguish the truth from lies in the stream of information available to us online and through traditional broadcast methods. Its been created so that any unapproved information out-of-line with the narrative, ‘the message’, will be censored and designated as miss or diss information or assigned to labels such as digital hate, fake news, and conspiracy theory. And of course, this conveniently allows for the framing of disagreements, conflicts of opinion, and the challenge of dialogue as a problem, which appears must be eliminated. 

    Why is the media and governments with all their power and influence afraid of alternative voices that they need to censor? Social media has long been a problem for governments as they cannot control the public sphere, and when a government is lying about what they know is going on in order to disrupt and manipulate public feeling and opinion - that's the definition of misinformation. Do you honestly think there will be a tool or a platform to allow the public to report miss/misinformation being published by the government and Irish media? 



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,644 ✭✭✭✭One eyed Jack


    Do you honestly think there will be a tool or a platform to allow the public to report miss/misinformation being published by the government and Irish media? 


    That exists already, several opportunities for anyone to air their grievances. At the same time, nobody can be obligated to take them seriously. It’s the whole point of that ‘reasonable person’ standard, so that nobody is forced to waste their time entertaining people who are absolute crackers.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,962 ✭✭✭Oscar_Madison


    I guess this came about because of the lack of mods in the boards Current Affairs forum 😀



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,459 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    The combination of that wall of text along with your Avatar is not making me want to read any of it.



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