Italy Urges Europe To Begin Censoring Free Speech On The Internet

Tyler Durden's picture

First it was the US, then Germany blamed much of what is wrong in society on "fake news", and not, say, a series of terrible decisions made by politicians. Now it is Italy's turn to call for an end to "fake news", which in itself would not be troubling, however, the way Giovanni Pitruzzella, head of the Italian competition body, demands the European Union "cracks down" on what it would dub "fake news" is nothing short of a total crackdown on all free speech, and would give local governments free reign to silence any outlet that did not comply with the establishment propaganda.

In an interview with the FT, Pitruzzella said the regulation of false information on the internet was best done by the state rather than by social media companies such as Facebook, an approach taken previously by Germany, which has demanded that Facebook end "hate speech" and has threatened to find the social network as much as €500K per "fake" post.

Pitruzzella, head of the Italian competition body since 2011, said "EU countries should set up independent bodies — co-ordinated by Brussels and modeled on the system of antitrust agencies — which could quickly label fake news, remove it from circulation and impose fines if necessary." 

In other words, a series of unelected bureaucrats, unaccountable to anyone, would sit down and between themselves decide what is and what isn't "fake news", and then, drumroll, "remove it from circulation." On the other hand, coming one week after Obama give Europe the green light to engage in any form of censorship and halt of free speech that it desires, when the outgoing US president voted into law the  "Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act", it should come as no surprise that a suddenly emboldened Europe is resorting to such chilling measures.

So with Europe on the verge of rolling out unbridled censorship, here is the strawman used to justify it.

“Post-truth in politics is one of the drivers of populism and it is one of the threats to our democracies,” Pitruzzella told the FT. “We have reached a fork in the road: we have to choose whether to leave the internet like it is, the wild west, or whether it needs rules that appreciate the way communication has changed. I think we need to set those rules and this is the role of the public sector.”

Translation: it will soon be up to Brussles to decide what content on the Internet is appropriate for broad European consumption, because unless a bureaucrat intervenes "fake news" will lead to even more populism and not, say, years of failed political reform, and central bank decisions.

In short, it's all the internet's fault that Europe's legacy political system is reeling from an unprecedented anti-establishment backlash, which has nothing to do with, well, anything else.

As the FT notes, Pitruzzella’s call comes amid growing concern over the impact of fake news on politics in western democracies, including in this year’s UK Brexit vote and the US election. In Germany, which faces parliamentary elections in 2017, the government is planning a law that would impose fines of up to €500,000 on social media companies for distributing fake news.

Allies of Matteo Renzi, the former prime minister, have also complained that fake news contributed to his defeat in the December referendum on constitutional reform, which led to his resignation, even though he lost by a wide 20-percentage point margin. At least they haven't blamed Russian hackers... yet.

So even assuming limiting free speech is the answer, why not force potential offenders to companies to police themselves? 

Well, according to Pitruzzella it would be inappropriate to leave this task to social media self-regulation. “Platforms like Facebook have created great benefits for people and customers: they are doing their part as an economic entity in adopting policies to modify their algorithms to reduce this phenomenon”, he said. “But it is not the job of a private entity to control information. This is historically the job of public powers. They have to guarantee that information is correct. We cannot delegate this completely.”

We know of at least one Italian who would agree.

And just like the person shown above, Pitruzzella dismissed concerns that setting up state agencies to monitor fake news would introduce a form of censorship, saying people could “continue using a free and open internet”... as long as all the members of the "open" internet agreed with what the agencies determined to be true and undisputed. But he said there would be a benefit in that there would be a public “third party” — independent of the government — to “intervene quickly if public interests were harmed”.

At the moment, the only way that fake news can be tackled — at least in Italy — is through the judicial system, which is notoriously clunky. “Speed is a critical element,” Pitruzzella said, so what is the solution? Why a Ministry of Truth of course.

The anti-establishment Five Star Movement is often labelled as the main facilitator of fake news in Italy, through the blog of its founder, the comedian Beppe Grillo, and a network of other websites affiliated to the party. But Pitruzzella declined to cite them as the main culprits. “I don’t know if this is true, I would not want to criticise anyone, not even the Five Star Movement. But I believe that if there aren’t any rules then many can take advantage of this.”

Of course, once free speech is censored, Pitruzzella will have no problem with no only criticizing anyone who disagrees with him, but promptly shutting down their freedom of speech on the net.

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pathosattrition's picture

Elon Musk, please get me off this planet.

RockRiver's picture

Paging Mr. Orwell, your table is ready......

Looney's picture


They all want to emulate Mussolini and, eventually, they will end-up just like him – hanging upside down from a lamp post.


remain calm's picture

My mom and dad left in the 1950's becuase of Mussolini, I am sure we will get a new group of immigramts, hopefully as good as the last from Italy.

baldknobber's picture

I can only assume that the news of his death in 1945 had not yet made it out to the countryside in the 50's when your parents left

Pairadimes's picture

Watch this issue closely. It is the harbinger of the future of all first world countries.

froze25's picture

The only move here if they do this is to report absolutely everything you read as fake news to overwhelm the system.

Son of Loki's picture

Maybe Hillary can run in Italy? Her platform of censoring free speech is one of her landmarks.

tazs's picture

"Italy Urges to BEGIN Censorship"


Censorship has been imposed a LONG TIME ago in Europe. On the veracity of the Holocaust.

stizazz's picture

Cue in: MC Hammer's CAN'T TOUCH THIS.

weburke's picture

so, americans died in ww1 and ww2 for NO REASON AT ALL. 

as there is no freedom anywhere in the eu.

well, I have known that for years. but it sure is kept secret. 

Big Twinkie's picture

They fought and died for a reason, but they had no idea what it was.  And if they had known, they probably wouldn't have fought.

Skateboarder's picture

You can do that through your facebooks, but the true threat is to places like ZH et al., which will occur outside the confines of the "open" and "public" forums. Also gotta imagine, you will be one out of a million reporting everything as fake, and they'll throw the banhammer on you. Dissidents will not be tolerated!

Looks like ThePirateBay model will be the next phase for alt-news in the coming future. A new .something extension every few weeks.

We are heading towards the Ministry of Truth pretty soon, unfortunately.

Pure Evil's picture

We'll be heading for a new and improved version of the Ministry of Truth.

One of the early versions was the bible. Edited multiple times to fit the paradigm the church wanted to present.

Then the newspapers, radio, movies, TV, and now the internet.

Implied Violins's picture

Pitruzella = he likes his 'pizza' with mozzarella. Sneaky, sneaky bastards, these pedos are...

Diatom's picture

Fake news?? What a fucking insult...

What the fucking PTB want to fight is critical thinking!

They will lose! The genie is out of the bottle...

False_Profit's picture

Rome is in italy...

The church of Rome is in rome...

The church of Rome wants one world religion and government under the vatican...

The church of Rome is getting impatient with us plebes...

The church of Rome is mobilizing through its Knights of malta...


Gott mit uns...

remain calm's picture

Tyranny and Repression did not go away with his demise. Much in the same way as liberal insanity and repression does not go away with Trump in the WH.

Muse minus Time's picture

Mussolini signed treaty to reinstate the Vatican political state in 1929

Now we have AntiChristo Bernardo proclaiming the NWO "one god" and inserting himself into the politics of the US with rothchilds', teneo(CGI), elites sponsoring this event....    (be sure to dive into the eye-opening report...Trumps' new job announcement with OneWeb(Sprint owner) is a direct result of the mandates in the report to complete digital ID's globally.  Look at the speakers of the working group solutions sessions..some are current players in Trumps' team.  IMHO, Americans may get a better deal in the multi-polar NWO scheme under DJT with the global mafias trying to stake out their turf with the turd-fetish pope, fake news warrior, front & center tagged-team by "sporos").

Pumpkin's picture

Maybe they just him hanging up by his feet.  In front of their house or something.

Hipower's picture

This is what happens when you hire todays college students as trolls.

JohnGaltUk's picture

I'll get the rope Looney

GraveDancer's picture

Is Trump the new Churchill & Putin the new Stalin?

Book> The Road to World War III: "Can the dark forces of anti-freedom "Trump" humanity?" 


Tejano's picture

No and no. Stupid premise.

Sam.Spade's picture

Connect the dots and draw the line out to tomorrow.  It goes to only one place:  Either learn to be anonymous in everything you say, do, and earn/spend or be owned by the banksters.  Of course, they won't want you to have the 'anonymous' option, so the real choice will be to become an anonymous, but free, criminal or stay a law-biding data serf, owned by whoever claims to win the next election.

There won't be any other choice.  Sorry, but the world of Leave It To Beaver and Fresh Prince is gone forever.  Wish all you want, it's never coming back.

Not sure exactly what I'm talking about?  Then get your hands on a copy of Thieves Emporium.  It's a primer on how the government plans to control us delivered in the form of a fast-paced novel to keep it interesting.

The Daily Anarchist loved it and called it "Barely Fiction".  The Daily Bell thought it was so good that they ran it as a serial.  And one of the directors of the Bitcoin Foundation said of it: "I recommend you read this book."

But don't just take their word for it.  Listen to readers at Amazon who have given it a 4.6 rating in over 110 reviews.  Or Barnes & Noble.  Or  Smashwords.  Both of them also give it a rating of 4.6, though without quite so many reviews.

Soon you are going to have to choose.  Better learn as much as you can now. 

Start with Thieves Emporium. 


Before TPTB force if off the market.


11b40's picture

I started reading this important new novel at the Daily Bell site, then purchased on Amazon. It is only $2.99, and I would rank it in importance right alongside 1984 or Brave New World. It really is that good. Just yesterday, I sent a gift copy to a nephew who is a senior business major at the Univ of GA. It should be a mandatory read for all students.

Sam.Spade's picture

Thank you for your kind words.

Please tell your nephew that the author is always interested in feedback (bad as well as good).  His email can be found at the end of the book.

11b40's picture

More than welcome. I posted a positive review as 11bRVN.

Sam.Spade's picture

Thank you for that also.  I looked for it, but couldn't find it.  Where did you post?  Link?

11b40's picture

I posted on Amazon.; background-size: 400px 670px; background-position: -5px -368px; background-repeat: no-repeat;">5.0 out of 5 stars


"Strange, fascinating, and vitally important "

After checking, I see that it went up under the name of "Amazon Customer".  This is the first book I have bought from Amazon/Kindle.  The set-up for my reveiw was not perfect, but the sentiments expressed are genuine.  I noticed a negative review from a Mr. Parrot, and replied to his reveiw, which now does show up as 11bRVN, FYI.

HRH Feant's picture
HRH Feant (not verified) 11b40 Dec 30, 2016 3:52 PM

I concur! Excellent book and worth reading.

Sam, I am still waiting on that second book by the way! (formerly HRH of Aquitaine).

There are always ways for the truth to get out. It no longer surprises me when another leader admits they want to control the news and information, ostensibly for the good of the people, of course. What foolishness! The days of people anxiously awaiting diktats from on high are over. Alert to all wannabe tyrants: fuck off and die. We are free and we don't need your stinking approved news. Oh: beware of lampposts and piano wire it could bring you quickly to room temperature.

BabaLooey's picture

Just bought it, and going to chew through it tonight. Thanks for the comments gents!

Sam.Spade's picture

Re a second book, I'm waiting, too.  But you can't push these artsy-feely types any faster than they want to go.

Hipower's picture

Sell your shit elsewhere. This ain"t no flea market.

11b40's picture

It is a place of discovery.  Got anything to offer?

UncleChopChop's picture

downvote for the sales pitch. less is more bro.

11b40's picture

Why don't you check it out then get back to us.  When there is a a revolutionary new book that could be on par with such classucs as 1984, we should be made aware of it, doncha' think?

Sam.Spade's picture

I understand your point.  Especially reagarding three links.  But if I just give the Amazon one, I'm supporting a monopoly, which I consider wrong. (Not Amazon specifically, but monopolies in general).  If I just give a link to one of the other vendors, judging by sales, Smashwords is more popular, but Barnes & Noble is better knows, so leaving either link off causes problems.  And links to both will still discourage many people who have Kindles and don't know how to manually install epub books on them. 

So, as much as I dislike it, I am stuck with all three.

peddling-fiction's picture

Interesting message, expose and ultimatum by Anonymous to David Rockefeller.

Bryan's picture

haha... I remember that skit.  :-)

VonPumperDic's picture


Obama has claimed the Gig to start January 21st 

wren's picture

The only freedom we truly have is the freedom of our own mind. If we can't express our freedom of thought, our last bastion of freedom has been lost.

After we lose our freedom of speech, the book burning begins. Remove our history and stop looking at the failures throughout our past and we will be left with a bunch of socialists. Looks good on paper, seems morally superior, but simply does not work.

Folkvar's picture

Agree with what you said except socialism looking good on paper and being morally superior, it doesn't and it isn't.

edifice's picture

Musky is only getting himself and his fellow billionaires/trillionaires off of the planet. We get to rot here.

Raffie's picture

That like the old saying "Calgon, take me away" ?

Don't they care that their unwanted muzzies may get upset over this and staret raping kids, women and animals and burn the cities?


angryyoungman's picture

They could get some advice from Putin, he has been doing it for years

DarkPurpleHaze's picture

Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" ...coming soon to a reality near you...

(full movie)