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The EU’s freeze of Russian media assets is a perversion of its own principles — RT World News


There’s a big difference between factual misinformation or misinformation and information or analysis you don’t like.

It is clear that it is not enough for the European Union to block access to TV and radio media, and to require YouTube and all social media to restrict access to them. across Europe. Now, with the ninth round of sanctions, they have frozen the assets and funds of various media outlets, including RT’s parent company, ANO TV-Novosti. “Through its subordinate media, including RT, it has spread disinformation and propaganda in support of the Kremlin, while supporting Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,“under new sanctions notification.

And here I think some of us are constantly mocking the European Union’s incompetence and mismanagement, joking about how “democracy” The EU likes to think that even if they send the President of the European Commission, the “queen” Ursula von der Leyen, to tell MPs who have never voted for her that they must stick with the President of Russia. Vladimir Putin by shivering and starving all winter, and generally just trying to help the public understand the hidden interests behind some of the moves being made by Western countries that would otherwise be Normal rational thought would not be able to understand. That’s what many of us have been doing in a variety of popular Western media throughout our careers.

But the EU sees it differently when the media provides those voices with a background that happens to be Russian, alleging that the media does not have any specific details or qualifications. “support, materially or financially, actions that undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.“By covering and commenting on the news? Really? Or just anything that challenges the official narrative coming out of the EU – and potentially leading Europeans to blame their own suffering on elected officials and supranational warlords. their own – must be censored? That may work for a while, but not forever. As former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said, “The truth is indisputable. Malice may attack it, ignorance may mock it, but in the end, it’s still there.”

Calling for security — Ukraine’s, Europe’s, or other countries’ — to justify the return of fundamental rights is not new to anyone who is locked in their homes during the crisis. crisis or those who recall the electronic trawler that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed amid the global war on terror. But violating EU press freedom principles with full-fledged censorship under the guise of national security is perhaps the most grotesque way of applying the principle – and in violation of what they often claim to be their own. surname.

There is a big difference between factual misinformation or misinformation on the one hand and information or analysis you don’t like on the other. If a journalist or media outlet publishes something that is truly inaccurate, there is indeed a moral and regulatory obligation to identify and correct it. That is the goal of national media regulators in countries across Europe. They have long viewed Russian media platforms as hawks over any such breach, and it is hard to imagine that they would be afraid to point out any.

Journalists have to show their work, so why doesn’t the EU mass censor them with the stroke of a pen? What the EU has done with its sanctions is no different from totalitarianism in that a supranational entity has usurped a specific regulatory role defined by national governments across the bloc. States are supposed to be sovereign, and in doing so, have made themselves the ultimate arbiter of what citizens are allowed to see and hear. They have become their critics by denouncing communist-style censorship. When a person without a VPN actually has to leave the territory of the European Union to access news that is freely available to people in Vietnam or Brazil — it is an information iron curtain and it is Made in Europe.

Even more disturbing is the exhortation of some members of the media establishment to dislike Russia and to use that fact to exclude or attempt to censor the work of their colleagues on media platforms. Russian communication. Journalists who fight for censorship of information or analysis on the basis that it does not come from a source they like, or a source approved or tolerated by their government, has hindered the search for truth. effectively by stifling debate and information diversity. Oh, but when Elon Musk – the new billionaire CEO of Twitter, a private social media platform – recently disabled the accounts of several Western established journalists, including from the New York Times and CNN, many Western journalists reacted as if he had just done so. commit murder.

Even more ironically, the EU overturned Musk’s hour-long censorship of journalists on a private platform. he personally owns. Vice President of the European Commission on “value and transparency”, Vera Jourova, tweeted: “The news of the arbitrary suspension of journalists on Twitter is disturbing. The EU Digital Services Act requires respect for media freedoms and fundamental rights. This is reinforced by our #MediaFreedomAct. @elonmusk should know that. There is a red line. And sanctions, soon.” Where has the Vice President of Values ​​been amid the EU’s repeated sanctions of journalists since February?

If the EU follows the same standard of respect for media freedom as it requires of Musk, then it has punished itself. In fact, that’s what the EU has done really well when the impact of its own anti-Russian sanctions is hitting its own people. Good luck censoring that.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author only and do not necessarily represent RT.

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