UK looks to tame the 'wild west' internet

Britain is planning to propose a series of laws that will address "cyber-bullying" and place restrictions on social media.

The Hill:

Matt Hancock, Britain's digital minister, said Sunday that the government would publish a document that lays out proposals for future legislation. 

"Digital technology is overwhelmingly a force for good across the world and we must always champion innovation and change for the better," Hancock said in a statement.

Any country with a "digital minister" deserves whatever censorship government can invent.

"At the same time, I have been clear that we have to address the Wild West elements of the Internet through legislation, in a way that supports innovation," he added.

Reuters reported that he did not provide more specifics, but said the government plans to work with regulators, platforms and advertising companies to address "both legal and illegal harms."

Hancock said proposed laws would be introduced later this year, with the goal of establishing them in the next couple years.

Britain's push to address the unsavory aspects of social media comes a couple weeks after first lady Melania Trump launched her "Be Best" campaign.  The initiative focuses in part on encouraging children to act with kindness on social media.

Anyone who thinks government can decide what anyone else should be able to read, to view, or to experience online without some kind of censorship is kidding himself.  Free speech is already under attack in the U.K.  If these proposals become law, it should kill it off entirely.

Yes, the internet is the "wild west."  But the answer to any problems that causes can be found in the approach of the first lady: voluntary compliance.  If you don't like what someone is saying on Twitter, don't read it.  If you don't like a video posted to YouTube, don't watch it.

How hard is that to understand?  Why must one person or entity set itself up as an arbiter of what is "right" or "proper" for me or you to see?

The answer, of course, is that it has nothing to do with preventing cyber-bullying, or hate speech, or hateful ideas, or any other excuse a government will use to impose restrictions on speech. 

This is all about power and the exercise of it.  Any other reason given is just P.R. spin.

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