Analysis comment

Starmer says he’ll support legislation without knowing what it’ll say (video)

The urge to collude with the Tories is just too strong

Keir Starmer’s blue is showing

In this video from the Not the Andrew Marr Show, Keir Starmer promises Boris Johnson that he’ll support Johnson’s ‘online harms’ bill.

Bad enough that Starmer is yet again rolling over instead of opposing a Tory move – but Starmer hasn’t even seen it yet. He can’t see it, as it hasn’t been finalised yet. As Mark Johnson points out, it’s still in ‘scrutiny’ and subject to rewrites:

The bill is expected to be designed to attack the safety and privacy rights of vulnerable individuals, as well as shutting down genuine criticism, under the guise of targeting online abuse. But Starmer’s Establishment urge to collude is just too strong.

The leader of the facilitation, certainly not of the opposition.

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14 comments

  1. I wonder if dear leader should use the Labour partys free mental health advice whilst he can and take Evans with him.I think its still open to Labour party members unless youve been targeted.

  2. “Online harms”, my arse. As governments fall into line, Big Tech is calling the shots and writing policy, as usual.

    Starmer’s current gig will be going tits up soon, and he’s positioning himself to be snapped up by one of the Silicon Valley fascist billionaires – just like old Nick – who’ve collectively made more obscene billions while millions die – thanks to Covid and its bogus ‘vaccines’.

    As an aside, the experimental gene therapy has ensured that 63% of Covid deaths in the UK between February and September 2021 are occurring in fully ‘vaccinated’ individuals and 70% in the partially ‘vaccinated’, according to Public Health England (whom I believe have predictably changed their name).

  3. He really wants to be johnson mk2, not reading policies not scrutinising them just signing them off. He is clearly enabling this shower of a government to continue with eradicating democratic freedoms. He is toxic. Maybe he needs to send himself one of his autoinclusion letters…….

  4. As someone who doesn’t use social media platforms such as Facebook et al, online anonymity is not too much of an issue. Nevertheless, for those that do, RD Hale makes some very good points on his blog regarding the removal of the right to online anonymity.

    Ending Social Media Anonymity Is Not About Public Safety

    The thing is being anonymous online can actually reduce the risk of bullying and violence. Perhaps you were horribly bullied at school and you set up a Twitter account under an alias because the last thing you wanted is the bullies following you over from Facebook. Perhaps you are trans and you have not yet transitioned and just want to explore the real you in an online space before you are ready to tell the world. Or perhaps you are exposing unsafe practices in your work place and are terrified of being fired. Perhaps you’re an activist who was previously campaigning under your real name and you were assaulted in the street so you decided to keep your activism anonymous to protect yourself and your family. I could name a whole bunch of activists who’ve been stalked and assaulted.

    There are a ton of very legitimate reasons for people to remain anonymous online and it would be a huge invasion of privacy to suddenly out all these people. Far from protecting against abuse, ending online anonymity would actually be an incredibly abusive thing to do and could well lead to violence against the people you are exposing. This would be completely unacceptable and incredibly hypocritical. It would essentially be state-sanctioned doxxing.

    https://www.councilestatemedia.uk/2021/10/ending-social-media-anonymity-is-not.html

  5. The Tories will NEVER pass a bill that will result in any real curb of online abuse and hate: it’s now their natural constituency and target audience.

  6. It’s atrocious too :

    Under s.46(3 – 5), content for which there is a “material risk” of having “significant adverse physical or psychological impact on an adult of ordinary sensibilities” is also considered “content that is harmful to adults”. Category 1 services must take steps to proportionately mitigate against the likelihood of adults using their service to come into contact with these types of content.

    Talk about subjective and being open to interpretation. As Techdirt put it, quote:

    The scariest part is that it will require companies to remove lawful speech. The bill refers to it as “lawful but still harmful” (which some have taken to calling “lawful but awful” speech). But as noted above, that really creates tremendous incentives for excessive censorship and suppression of all sorts of speech to avoid falling on the wrong line.

    And…

    Specifically, there’s a section saying that websites (and executives), that will now face liability if they leave up too much “lawful but harmful” content, must make sure not to take down “democratically important” content. What does that mean? And who decides? Dunno. There’s also a weird carveout for “journalists” but again, that’s problematic, when you realize that merely the act of defining who is and who is not a journalism is a big free speech issue. And the bill does note that “citizen journalists will have the same protections as professional journalists.” Does… that mean every UK citizen has to declare themselves a “citizen journalist” now? How does that even work?

    1. ‘Citizen journalists’…..the first things I think of are Bellingcat and Tommy Robinson. The IHRA definition of Antisemitism would, I’m guessing, be termed as harmful content as would “conspiracy theories”.

      1. lundiel – Similar laws have or are being pushed through in Canada and Australia, and the US is going very heavy pressing for social media regulation.. The Australian version uses ‘safety’ rather than ‘harms’, hence the name change for the UK version. It looks like intel agencies(FVEYs) are driving this legislation, and the politicians are following orders.

        Frances Haugen, the ‘so-called’ Facebook whistleblower is scheduled to appear before the HoC Online Safety Bill committee this Monday 25 October. The grayzone published an interesting piece on her.

        Quote:

        Alongside Haguen’s big reveal came the launch of a new website and a new Twitter account, which was immediately verified. Haugen’s old Twitter account was locked when she went public and has since been deleted, while her old blog is no longer online.

        Haugen’s now-deleted blog and Twitter account feature no political content, nor does her resume. On Twitter, she frequently discussed taking Ambien and flirting with boys, while on her blog she wrote about cycling through Europe. Apart from a lecture she delivered on “The Intersection of Product Management and Gender,” and donations to the Democratic Party, she has shown little discernible interest in politics. So how did a certifiable normie with jobs at Google, Pinterest, Yelp! become an expert on Iran and China?

        From this well-researched article:

        https://thegrayzone.com/2021/10/21/facebook-whistleblower-frances-haugen-us-intelligence/

      2. My own criticism of the social media giants is based on their use of secretive highly discriminatory algorithms, which demote some voices (typically left and progressive opinion) while promoting others(right-wing, neoliberal and pro-war neocons). Any search proves this. If they want to be neutral platforms, they should let the chips fall where they may.

        What the US, UK,CAN, AUS govts are doing is imposing regulatory fine threat censorship to crush dissent; the cure is truly worse than the disease, and they are coming at this from a angle of pure elite, protective self-interest, these plans have little to do with the public interest.

      3. “be termed as harmful content as would “conspiracy theories”.”

        Be harmful to whom/what, the Many or the Few?

        The most dangerous harm circulating at the moment, is the ‘conspiracy theory’ that says humans have an “immune system”. Don’t you know, even against a disease that has a 99.8% survival rate, you need to take a possibly dangerous, untested ‘vaccine’ (every six months?)

        “Mummy, what is an immune system?”

        “Oh, tthat’s just Conspiracy, darling. We don’t use them any more

  7. How do you ensure anonymity stops? Who polices it and most important of all metadata is money and control. Anonymity is the wrong word, it should be privacy. The internet has already been corrupted from what it was originally intended for and it is censored. When you log on to a website in order to comment, unless you take precautions like hiding your URL, you can be traced. If we have to use our names to login, that data will inevitably be hoovered up and used against us in the future (I can see a time when employers can check employees political leaning). Governments will use metadata to profile everyone. Some governments will disappear, reeducate or imprison people. Anonymity is hugely important and you can’t stop people from hiding their tracks.
    This keeps coming up but they’ve managed to push it through without opposition on the back of the death of an MP who hardly used social media and his assailant who used his own name.

  8. The essential problem is that FB etc are capitalist outfits. Zuckerberg claims he has 40,000 people working on keeping users safe, but the simple fact is his algorithm is set to ensure what is most sensational gets priority. FB is a big advertising agency and advertisers are beholden to those they advertise for. Big corporations are paying FB for customers. FB is not going to do anything which reduces the amount of time people spend on the site because that will diminish the number of views of ads and that will disappoint the people who have made him rich. There is no absolute reason why a social media site like FB should be run for profit, anymore than a hospital or a school should. Truly social media, ie socialised, would genuinely be free to protect people from abuse. They would have no need to obey the lowest common denominator. What drives the abuse is FB’s profit-seeking model. Which raises another obvious point: the skills needed to establish FB were not highly unusual. Lots of people had enough computer nous. What drove Zuckerberg wasn’t the desire to give people a platform for contact which would improve their social lives, but a will to exploit that to make himself super-rich. As Adam Smith said: “The pursuit of personal wealth is a delusion.” FB has been delusional from the start.

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