This is what happens when a French bureaucrat is in charge of the EU’s Single Market. Arrogance, disinformation, and threats — from an unelected French EU bureaucrat
Elon Musk, one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, is now in charge of Twitter — the most important online channel for political views globally. The EU technocrats lost no time in telling him the EU Commission is now the boss of the Internet in Europe. Frenchman Thierry Breton, Single Market Commissioner, led the charge.
- The EU’s arrogance towards Mr Musk
- The disinformation from the EU Commission
- The Commission’s new takeover of the Internet in the EU on Tuesday (01 Nov 2022)
- Will Musk be forced by EU law to ban the EU Commission from Twitter for ‘disinformation’?
- The supreme irony
1. The EU Commission’s arrogance towards Mr Musk
The Commission’s arrogance is best summed up by the following Twitter exchange on Friday (28 Oct 2022).
Instead of congratulating Elon Musk, the EU’s unelected Single Market Commissioner waded straight in with a threat. This behaviour will be familiar to all readers who have seen the same pattern of behaviour from these eurocrats towards the United Kingdom over the last six years since the British people voted to leave its empire.
2. The disinformation from the EU Commission
“Europe is 1.5 times bigger than the United States, so the 1st digital market (…) Twitter will have to respect our rules”
IMPORTANT: EU Commissioners always refer to “Europe” when they mean the “European Union”. See below: “Will the new EU law force Musk to ban the EU Commission from Twitter for ‘disinformation’?”
Let us all look at the EU's disinformation
The EU Commission’s disinformation
The United States is a country
- The EU is not. It is a disparate group of 27 countries, each of them dwarfed by the US
‘Europe’ is far bigger than the EU and it includes the UK
- The EU is NOT ‘Europe’
Monsieur Breton was knowingly wrong about the size of the EU27 countries
- The population of the United States: 331,893,745
- The combined population of the EU27 countries: 446,828,803
[Source: United Nations]
Even if Monsieur Breton considers the EU to be a country, its population is only 34.6% larger, not 50%. In approximate terms that’s one-third, not one-half. However, the picture gets worse for Monsieur Breton — see below.
The EU is not “the 1st digital market”
- №1 is China
- №2 is India
[Source: OWID Oxford University}
GDP of the EU27 : $16,752.0 bn
- GDP of the US: $23,374.7 bn — 39.5% larger than the EU’s
[Source World Bank, figures for 2021]
The US economy is larger than the economies of all EU27 counties combined — by almost 40%.
- Thierry Breton has 102.8 thousand followers on Twitter
- Elon Musk has 113.5 million followers on Twitter
- Elon Musk is 1,100 times more popular than Thierry Breton
[Source: Twitter accounts, 03 Nov 2022]
3. The Commission’s new takeover of the Internet in the EU on Tuesday (01 Nov 2022)
On Tuesday the EU’s new Digital Services Act came into force. This affects everyone in the EU27 who uses the Internet. Here is what the EU Commission says:
“Today, online platforms can be misused to spread illegal content such as hate speech, terrorist content or child sexual abuse material, as well as sell dangerous goods and counterfeit products, or to offer illegal services, exposing citizens to harm.”
The EU Commission has presented the new law as being a set of consumer and public protection measures and large parts of it are certainly devoted to this.
However, it also extends into the realms of content censorship, according to what the EU Commission deems to be good for its citizens.
Quoting from the EU Commission again — “What the new Digital Services Act changes: Very large online platforms and very large search engines will have to design their systems to tackle the risks of disinformation”.
4. Will the new EU law force Musk to ban the EU Commission from Twitter for ‘disinformation’?
There are different ways of characterising information which is incorrect or misleading. “Disinformation” means what is being said or written is knowingly or deliberately wrong. “Misinformation” means what is being said or written is wrong, but without any deliberate intent to mislead.
Given that Mr Musk is now being told by the EU Commission that his Twitter platform will have a legal duty to obey the Commission’s diktats, this has very interesting consequences. Below are some examples of disinformation from the EU Commission, which could result in them being banned from Twitter.
- Using “Europe” when they know they are only talking about the EU27 — the European Union
- Deliberately misleading nomenclature, eg “European Commission” instead of “EU Commission”
- Describing Commissioners as having been elected, when the EU’s populace couldn’t vote for them
- Using “elected” when every single Commissioner was the sole candidate
- Using “united” about the EU27’s stance on particular policies, when the countries clearly are not
On specific issues and in thousands of statements and press releases, the EU Commission has published disinformation. I have the evidence should Mr Musk want it. Here is just one topical example
Insisting the NI Protocol was necessary to prevent a hard border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland when the heads of Customs in the Republic and the UK both said it wasn’t, as did the EU Parliament’s own expert report.
Under the new EU law, Mr Musk should delete Commissioner Breton’s tweet on the grounds of it being “disinformation” and warn him he will be banned if he persists. Oh, the irony….
The EU Commission doesn’t do freedoms
As a strong advocate of freedom of thought and expression, I objected to the banning and shadow banning of Twitter users which I have had the pleasure of both those been done to me, This was done by unknown individuals at the Company without any indication that they were qualified to make these judgements.
Elon Musk seeks to change this organisational mindset. The EU is going in the opposite direction with its new law, as Commissioner Breton indicated to Mr Musk quite forcefully.
We now seem to be at risk of replacing one bunch of ideologically driven, unelected, Internet censors in California with another bunch in Brussels. For Mr Musk to be attempting to open up the Twitter debating platform just as the EU is seeking to close it down is a good example of how precious our remaining freedoms are and how vigorously they must be defended.
The EU Commission will of course protest that their new law is designed to protect the public. Unfortunately — and with considerable experience of how the EU works — I am very concerned about yet another encroachment into people’s daily lives by an autocratic and unelected monolith.
Even more EU Commission control
One thing the EU is very good at is communication. As I have pointed out on many occasions, the daily propaganda they churn out is quite extraordinary and puts to shame the Comms functions of the UK’s Government Departments. The Internet is of course a very powerful tool of communication, so I am not in the least surprised to see the EU Commission want to take greater control over it.
I would say to Elan Musk to nip this in the bud.
Elan you now own Twitter outright. You should make it clear to Thierry Breton along with the rest of the EU Commission that you will not tolerate disinformation or meddling in your multi-billion company and that any more of the above and you will ban them outright for life along with any of their staff who speak on their behalf .
You have the power to do that Your HOUSE your rules.
If you dont you will run the risk of total disinformation being spread by the EU along with the EU trying to bring you down.