As every American knows, or at least should know, we have a constitutional right to freedom of speech.
While a number of nations may claim their citizens have the right to express themselves freely, it’s really just a thin veneer of nice words that cover a mass of central government control over the thoughts, opinions and spoken words of the very same citizens.
The British don’t have any real or substantive freedom of expression, neither do the Japanese nor the Australians nor the French, etc.
Speaking of the French, their decidedly socialist-friendly president with an Oedipus complex, Emmanuel Macron, has just made clear that he’ll do everything in his power to shut-down what he considers “fake news” online.
As noted by the reliably left-leaning Gizmodo.com;
In a speech to journalists on Wednesday, Macron said he planned to introduce new legislation to strictly regulate fake news online during political campaigns. His proposal included a number of measures, most drastically “an emergency legal action” that could enable the government to either scrap “fake news” from a website or even block a website altogether, the Guardian and Politico reported.
“If we want to protect liberal democracies, we must be strong and have clear rules,” Macron said. “When fake news are spread, it will be possible to go to a judge … and if appropriate have content taken down, user accounts deleted and ultimately websites blocked.”
Macron, himself a target of election interference, also outlined some less extreme measures in his speech yesterday. He proposed more rigid requirements around transparency, specifically in relation to online ads during elections. According to the Guardian, Macron said the legislation would force platforms to publicly identify who their advertisers are, as well as limit how much they can spend on ads over the course of an election campaign
One of the better dissections of the French faux-freedom comes directly from our own Library of Congress;
The French Constitution protects freedom of expression, but not to the same extent as the First Amendment does under U.S. law. Specifically, the French Constitution incorporates the Declaration of Human and Civic Rights of 1789, which protects freedom of speech. Article 10 of the Declaration of Human and Civic Rights states that “No one may be disturbed on account of his opinions, even religious ones, as long as the manifestation of such opinions does not interfere with the established Law and Order.”
Article 11 follows that up with “The free communication of ideas and of opinions is one of the most precious rights of man. Any citizen may therefore speak, write and publish freely, except what is tantamount to the abuse of this liberty in the cases determined by Law.”
In other words, the French Constitution recognizes freedom of speech, but also explicitly allows legislation that would limit it.