🕵️‍♀ Rolling thread: internet freedom, net neutrality, pre-filters, privacy


Thought it might be cool to have a thread on this as there are loads of developments and decisions being made right now that will shape the future of the internet.

E.g. this proposed EU directive which would require platforms to pre-filter all user-generated content and use automated decision making to block publication of content deemed (by the censorship machine) to infringe copyright.

this is a huge huge risk to freedom of expression and privacy and similar measures have already been ruled to violate human rights. rights groups, the UN rapporteur on freedom of expression, IP experts etc. have all voiced serious concerns about it.

MEPs are voting on this next week. worrying how little there has been about this.

I have written a template letter if anyone wants to write to their MEP. PM me.


Also been seeing a lot of really dangerous ideas proposed by mainstream politicians e.g. Jess Phillips saying you should need photographic ID to be able to post on the internet.


is this one of those ideas that’s actually completely unworkable and been thought up by people that don’t actually understand how the internet works

or is it actually plausible it could actually work?

not doubting that it’s a terrible idea/desire of course


the thing is it is plausible. it’s just completely nonsensical, but if it gets voted through pressure will be exerted on the tech giants to change policy, which they’ll do despite knowing it’s insane because it benefits them.

this goes beyond the usual silly people not knowing what a proxy is and therefore how ineffectual blocking these things can be. This is the same silly old people voting, without any tech knowledge, and therefore willing to believe that the internet is a scary mean content monster than needs to be censored to prevent children from downloading holograms of people being murdered etc etc. They’ll be told it’s to censor terrorism etc and vote blindly for bills that will push through blanket bans by, as DB says, the censorships that neocon governments absolutely love


it’s being pushed by large publishing companies, music industry lobby etc.

who OF COURSE only have the best interests of artists and creators in mind here and obviously do all they can to get fair remuneration for

it’ll lead to even more dominance by tech giants and make it even less competitive for smaller and startup tech companies who use any user-generated content and wont have the resources to implement this fairly or to challenge it


what’s grim is when MEPs etc are interviewed on this sort of thing and clearly have something like 1% knowledge of what they’re voting on. Drives me insane. Heard someone at a panel discussion recently describte copyright filters being necessary ‘to fend off cyber fraud’

cyber fraud.



hang on, what? what’s her reasoning?


and there’s your first mistake


the trolls

I mean, never mind that anonymity is hugely important particularly for women on the internet to avoid abuse and being tracked down by violent ex-partners etc.


Don’t know much about this, but sounds very much like another case of “banning” something rather than examining why it’s occurring (like drill music, for example)


I don’t always agree with Ben Goldacre, but he’s right to be worried about this:



Sounds like this would solve @Epimer’s takeaway problem.

What’s the objection to this, besides the article being a free advert?


Have you read the twitter thread? His main objection is that a company are trying to own addresses. Not just the locations based upon co-ordinates, but their equivalent of house numbers and road names.


the IP belongs to a private company which wants to build reliance on its technology to extract value from the global south


Opening the tweet didn’t show a thread, can’t be arsed scrolling through his tweets


So there’s a problem that’s been around for ever and no one seems to have tried to fix it, now someone is trying to fix it, I can’t get too upset about that :woman_shrugging:. Don’t see how or when this would be addressed by a non commercial organisation that could do it globally?


There are other, open-source, versions of the technology out there, but obviously they don’t attract the investment from venture capitalists that help to pay for press junkets.


the international telecommunications union could


I guess that’s my point, is this kind of system ever going to get off the ground without commercial backing? If not then I don’t see the point in getting upset about it. Obviously the article should have been waaaaay more balanced and presented other options and downsides.