On the surface, the Online Safety Bill, being pushed by the U.K. government, appears to protect children and adults from online messaging, content and websites through regulations and removal of those deemed to be “harmful.”1 After the draft of the bill was published in May 2021, it became apparent that it is another iteration of the controversial 2019 “Online Harms White Paper.”
The White Paper,2 which proposed legislative and nonlegislative strategies to purportedly protect you from online content that might harm you, was quickly criticized. Aside from the fact that unnamed entities would determine what kind of content, platforms and websites are harmful or inappropriate, serious concerns were raised that, if implemented, the paper’s dogma essentially was a model for stifling freedom of speech.
Britain’s Online Safety Bill evolved from that paper, but it, too is under scrutiny as critics say it not only is too “vague in its wording,” but “poses a threat to freedom of expression and places too much power in the hands of social networks.”3
In fact, it is poised to be yet another government-imposed step to limit personal freedoms and individual rights under the guise of transforming the world into a single body run by elites who believe they can make the world and your life better by limiting what you do, where you go and even what you own — if you own anything at all.
It is a world vision with global implications that, if implemented, would even control how you think. The foundation for these changes began long before the 2020 pandemic. The World Economic Forum and the United Nations have been working together to push the related WEF 2030Vision4 and the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development — an action plan that they say is for the people, the planet and prosperity. According to the United Nations this will involve:5
“All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership … to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet.”
Again, on the surface, it appears that Big Brother is looking out for all the little people. But in essence, to achieve the goals set out by the WEF and the UN they must have ultimate control over your ability to make individual decisions for your life. Otherwise, in their estimation, America and every other free nation in this world will continue living in the same “chaos” that they have been in for as long as they have been free.
To achieve these goals, it is necessary that you purchase and eat only the types of food they deem sustainable. You may only work and get paid if you choose the right health plan, make the right medical decisions and use the correct currency.
In fact, the WEF said it best in their strangely ominous dictum that you will “own nothing and be happy.” While inexplicable in 2016 when it was first published in Forbes Magazine,6 the unstated implication that the world’s resources will be owned and controlled by the technocratic elite is coming closer and closer to reality.
It’s coming so close, in fact, that fact checkers at Reuters rushed to publish a rebuttal in February 2021 after a three-minute video clip with a mere 862 likes and 1,100 shares made the rounds on Facebook.7 With these small numbers, that video could hardly have been called viral. Yet, Reuters raced in to argue that the WEF has no stated goal that people will own nothing by 2030, despite Forbes’ 2016 prediction.
Should the Online Safety Bill in the U.K. pass with all its possible regulations and repercussions, this is exactly the type of video that, had it been a law in 2021, could have landed the video’s creator in jail for two years. This, despite the fact that the WEF published a video on Facebook two days after the Forbes article in which they said, “You’ll own nothing, and you’ll be happy. This is how our world could change by 2030.”8
Trolling May Get You Two Years in Prison
The media appear to come down on both sides of the fence as they report what’s happening with the Online Safety Bill. Rather unsurprisingly, the mainstream media, such as The Times,9 report the proposed law favorably while headlines from independent media read:
- British Government May Jail Those Accused of Causing ‘Online Psychological Harm’10
- Brits Who Post “False Information” About Vaccines Could Be Jailed For Two Years11
Before the internet, a troll was a dwarf or giant in Scandinavian folklore who inhabited the caves or hills.12 Today, it is slang for a person or actions that intentionally try “to instigate conflict, hostility, or arguments in an online social community.”13
The bill’s critics are focusing on a part of the bill that calls for a jail sentence of two years for anyone who causes psychological harm as a result of online trolling. But proponents of the bill stress how threats of punishment for trolling will stop these harms. In its support of this idea, The Times explains that the bill is:14
“… the flagship legislation to combat abuse and hatred on the internet. The proposed law change will shift the focus on to the “harmful effect” of a message rather than if it contains “indecent” or “grossly offensive” content, which is the present basis for assessing its criminality.”
In other words, the bill will change communication laws in the U.K. and create new offenses under which people can be jailed. The messages targeted will contain “threats of serious harm.” You might imagine those threats would be of abuse or death, but The Times reported that government sources used “the example of antivaxxers spreading false information that they know to be untrue.”15
The government spokesperson justified the bill as a good thing to do, even though former cabinet minister David Davis urged them to rethink the proposal and Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, called it “too broad.” The spokesperson said:16
“We are making our laws fit for the digital age. Our comprehensive Online Safety Bill will make tech companies responsible for people’s safety and we are carefully considering the Law Commission’s recommendations on strengthening criminal offences.”
But, as Principia Scientific International17 points out, since the beginning of the pandemic, authorities have called multiple pieces of information posted on social media “false” that later turned out to be true. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci’s ongoing changes to his definition of herd immunity could fall under knowingly spreading false communication. But would it?
The most obvious example is when the vaccine was first released, and claims were made that it was not fully effective at stopping the spread of the disease. That would have fallen under the bill’s definition of disinformation. Yet, months later this was proven to be fact. So, if the bill passes in the U.K., what happens to someone who is in jail for making a “false” statement, which months later turns out to be true? Will they get an early release or recompense for false imprisonment?
New Law Sets Stage for Greater Public Control
On the surface it looks like the law is meant to protect people against threats of death or physical violence. But, in fact, this is a law that protects governmental agencies from outspoken citizens who would like to retain their right to free speech that is enjoyed by those who do not live under communist rule.
Should the law pass, what would stop the government from extending the definition of “false” statements? This could now cover any statement governmental agencies find “offensive” or that creates a “threat of serious harm.” For example, if you make statements against the high price of gasoline, food or heating oil, the government could say you are inciting anger.
The new law will also include something called “pile-ons.” This is a situation in which several individuals will join in sending harassing messages. However, which messages are defined as pile-ons or harassment will be determined by those in power, who are yet to be named. Therefore, as the reporter from Principia Scientific International wrote:18
“And if you think that will stop those of a certain political leaning who routinely form “pile-ons” against conservatives for expressing dissenting opinions, think again.”
According to Principia Scientific International,19 the bill is being promoted with “relentless propaganda.” Despite online abuse toward Black football players in the U.K. originating from Middle Eastern countries, the media is using the situation to justify the bill.
According to an analysis20 by Chris Pikes, CEO and co-founder of Image Analyzer, the bill will also pertain to any website where other people can upload content, videos or comment on each other’s posts. Image Analyzer21 is a software program designed to analyze visual threats using artificial intelligence.
If the bill passes, every digital platform operator will be responsible for removing illegal content. But since there is no clear definition of “harm” in the bill, how enforcement of the bill is determined and what content it will affect may be based on decisions made well after the bill has been approved.
The vague language threatens freedom of speech and the mandate to remove content may require companies to prescreen anything posted. Taking this a step further, all website companies would be responsible for removing content posted by U.K. citizens that may be covered by the Online Safety Bill. This means website owners in the U.S., France, Sweden and any other country would also have to comply with the British law.
This could create a system where journalists enjoy the freedom to report information and speak on social media, while citizens face censorship. The vague language in the bill also opens questions of advertising content. In this draft of the Online Safety Bill, there is the power to levy fines of up to £18 million22 (approximate $ 24.17 million in the exchange rate November 2021) or 10% of the company’s global profits, whichever is higher.
Tyrannical Regulations Justified by Ongoing ‘Emergency’
Using this definition of social media — anywhere that content can be posted by readers — it includes blog owners, family websites and author blogs where individuals have always enjoyed the freedom of sharing their opinions that were not indecent or grossly offensive. This is freedom of speech — except in socialist or communist regimes where the state dictates what you think, feel and how you act.
If the U.K passes this bill that may affect every website where comments are allowed, how many months could it be before a similar legislative action is drafted in other currently free countries, including the U.S.?
When you step back from what’s been happening over the past 18 months to two years, you have to ask the question of what is driving these legislative actions and political inaction to protect citizens. The process began under the guise of a medical emergency in which it was predicted that people would be dropping dead in the street.
But people have not been dropping dead in the streets. And, while the infection is a very real infection, it currently does not meet the threshold of “emergency.”
Successful treatment protocols have been developed23,24 but are not used or promoted as government agencies are pushing for as many people as possible to accept the genetic therapy shot being called a vaccine.25 Just a reminder: For the shot to meet the definition of a vaccine, the CDC had to change the definition of it.26
When it comes to death counts, according to data from the CDC,27 COVID-19 deaths accounted for 11.3% of all deaths in 2020 and 13.5% of all deaths in 2021. According to recounts and analysis of data in Alameda and Santa Clara counties in California, these numbers may be 20% to 25% too high.28
If the number of deaths were conservatively reduced by 15%, then the deaths from COVID-19 would drop to 9.6% in 2020 and 11.4% in 2021. This is far lower than the 19.4% of all deaths from heart disease in 2020.29
Your Personal Liberty Is Worth Fighting For
You might fortunately be in a position where life as you know it has not changed drastically. However, it’s important to recognize what personal freedoms we lose will be exponentially harder to get back. You only have to look at the history of other socialist and communist countries or hear the stories of people’s oppression to understand the direction that society is taking.
Our personal freedom is critically important and may be most important for our mental and physical health. The freedom to interact with other human beings is crucial. We may tolerate a lack of interaction for a short period of time, but as that time grows it takes a toll on health, emotional stability and longevity.
In mid-2020, the CDC30 wrote that adults were reporting considerably elevated mental health conditions, elevated suicide ideation and increased substance use — all because of lockdowns, job losses and the subsequent trauma that the pandemic fear campaign put on our lives. In 2021, news sources reported that the CDC estimated there were more than 93,000 drug overdose deaths in 2020.31 This was a 30% rise over 2019 and was an all-time high for the U.S.32
This is not something we should be prolonging by instituting new restrictions on our freedoms of expression, speech and thought. It is vital to stand your ground and fight peacefully for freedom now, before it’s too late. There are people who know what it’s like to lose their freedoms and be incarcerated systems that appear to purposefully forget them,33 and others who are held in jails without convictions or sentencing.34,35
And if you think such things can’t happen to you, think again. With every new piece of legislation that rips away at your personal freedom, we are one step closer to the “state” controlling what we think, eat, say and feel. By 2030, we could “own nothing and [NOT] be happy.”