The European Union has declared war on internet free speech: in partnership with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, it has unveiled a “code of conduct” to combat the spread of “illegal hate speech” online in Europe.
Despite frequent EU announcements “about the threat of Russian propaganda”, in its report of June this year, the European Commission acknowledged that it did not detect signs of a public disinformation campaign from abroad for the European Parliamentary elections, although it reported attempts by “some Russian sources” to influence voters.
This claim is a distortion of the actual report, taking the following sentence out of context: "Available evidence has not allowed us to identify a distinct cross-border disinformation campaign from external sources specifically targeting the European elections”. The next sentence provides further clarification: "However, the evidence collected revealed a continued and sustained disinformation activity by Russian sources aiming to suppress turnout and influence voter preferences”.
Asked if the report doesn’t contradict itself, Security Commissioner Julian King said that disinformation aimed at dividing Europeans was "increasingly locally focused", which the report explains as follows: "Instead of conducting large-scale operations on digital platforms, these actors, in particular linked to Russian sources, now appeared to be opting for smaller-scale, localised operations that are harder to detect and expose."