Liberals are calling for a constitutional law to protect against indirect censorship
Vienna (OTS) – The online giant Google has carried out the next attack on parliamentary freedom of speech on its video platform YouTube. Yesterday’s speech by club chairman Herbert Kickl was removed from the “Austria first” channel, on which the FPÖ makes all speeches by free members of the National Council and Federal Council available. The channel has been banned from posting videos for a week. The reason given was a violation of the “Guideline on Medical Misinformation about COVID-19”.
The speech can be viewed at the following link on Facebook:
Sharp criticism comes from the liberal constitution spokeswoman and club chairman deputy NAbg. Susanne Fürst: “The guideline in itself is an unbelievable act of censorship, because it declares the ‘medical information of the World Health Organization (WHO) or local health authorities’ to be the sole valid truth, of which apparently no criticism will be tolerated. It is utterly monstrous that an American media company has set itself up to ban the distribution of parliamentary speeches. This represents massive interference in Austrian politics and is unacceptable. “
After the repeated deletion of parliamentary speeches, but also of non-government-compliant contributions to discussions by renowned scholars, it is clear to Fürst that it was a fatal mistake by the black-green government to assume responsibility for the deletion of so-called ‘fake news’ or ‘hate online’ to put them in the hands of these corporations and to incite them to even more deletions by threatening high fines, ”said Fürst.
What is urgently needed, however, is an opposite solution. “We have therefore applied to the Constitutional Committee to introduce a federal law to protect against indirect censorship, which ensures that the legality of the content and opinions expressed is solely the responsibility of the courts,” said Fürst. Instead of forcing social media companies to continually delete content, it must be guaranteed that they do not delete anything that does not violate national laws.
“Platforms with a de facto monopoly such as YouTube or Facebook must be obliged to comply with the law. This is also a acid test for national law, which must not allow itself to be undermined by arbitrary guidelines from multinational corporations, ”said the liberal constitutional spokeswoman.
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