Boris Johnson considers new laws to target the Twitter censors
Boris Johnson considers new laws to target the Twitter censors… so ‘bunch of woke Californians can’t interfere in the UK’
- The PM was alarmed by the way Twitter fact-checks Donald Trump’s Tweets
- He is afraid his own communications may be subject to similar warnings
- He wants to limit the influence of ‘woke Californians’ on Britain’s politics
- The Online Harms bill is designed to protect children using the internet
Boris Johnson is considering introducing new laws to limit the ability of social media giants such as Twitter to ‘censor’ British politicians.
According to senior Whitehall sources, the Prime Minister was alarmed by the way Twitter applied warning labels to more than 65 tweets by Donald Trump during the US presidential election. It did not, by contrast, apply any to tweets from the victorious Joe Biden.
As a result, Mr Johnson has discussed amending a Bill currently before Parliament – designed to punish social-media companies that publish harmful material – to ‘limit the ability of a bunch of woke Californians to interfere in the UK’, according to a source.
Boris Johnson, pictured, is said to be incredibly concerned about the ability of Twitter to attach warning notices to Donald Trump’s tweets questioning their accuracy
President Trump claimed that he had won the recent General Election in the United States, however, Twitter attached a notice claiming multiple sources called the result differently
Twitter applied more than 300,000 warnings to messages related to the US election as part of a ‘civic-integrity policy’ to address ‘misleading or disputed information’.
Trump’s supporters say that these were overwhelmingly directed at them because of what they describe as an institutionalised Left-leaning bias at the company.
The Online Harms Bill, which is currently before Parliament, is intended to introduce duty-of-care laws to protect children from disturbing material such as suicide footage or jihadi videos on platforms including Facebook and Instagram.
The measures have already been delayed because of concerns they could lead to the censorship of mainstream content on sites such as MailOnline, which publish legitimate news stories about related issues such as terror attacks which are then shared on social media.
One source said: ‘Boris did not like what he saw in the US election and has asked for more time to consider how to avoid the same thing happening to him in future’
One source said policy documents related to the Bill are ‘sitting in Boris’s box, and are likely to stay there until after Christmas’.
The source added: ‘Boris did not like what he saw in the US election and has asked for more time to consider how to avoid the same thing happening to him in future’.
Facebook also introduced new policies for the election to ‘combat voter suppression and misinformation’, which Trump supporters say was used to justify the company ignoring stories such as the controversy over the business links and private life of Biden’s son Hunter.
It was announced last week that a new watchdog, the Digital Markets Unit, will be given muscular powers to protect smaller businesses and to ensure that consumers have more control over their online profiles. It is likely to be given the power to levy large fines to stop customers or companies being treated unfairly, and make leading online firms give smaller rivals access to their vast troves of data.
The unit, which starts work in April, is expected to become fully operational by 2022 as part of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The CMA has called for stronger powers over Google and Facebook to address their ‘unassailable’ positions in digital advertising and social networking.
The two companies command 80 per cent of Britain’s £14 billion digital ads market between them.
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