In the near future, the United States will adopt legislation prohibiting so-called hate speech, according to a senior Eurocrat who spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Hate speech regulations will be imposed on the American public, according to Vra Jourová, vice president for values and transparency at the European Commission, despite long-standing Supreme Court precedent safeguarding such speech under the First Amendment.
“Illegal hate speech, which will soon exist in the United States as well. I believe we have a good rationale for having this in the criminal code,” said Jourová.
The Czech politician, who formerly held the position of European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers, and Gender Equality, made the remarks during a WEF panel discussion on “The Clear and Present Danger of Disinformation,” which was moderated by former CNN journalist Brian Stelter. Given his own connection with the truth, some people could find Stelter’s selection ironic.
Seth Moulton, a Democratic congressman, Arthur Gregg Sulzberger, the publisher of the New York Times, and Internews CEO Jeanne Bourgault were also on the panel.
The EU Commission Vice President’s statement appeared to be supported by Representative Moulton, who said: “I think generally the US has a lot to learn in terms of data regulation, internet legislation… We are far behind you in that regard.”
The Democratic politician later stressed, however, that he did not think American politicians were prepared to give up the essential components of free speech.
The European Union and the new Twitter CEO Elon Musk are still at odds over Musk’s publicly stated dedication to free expression, which has raised some eyebrows in Brussels. This is the background behind Jourová’s remarks.
The platform should collaborate with the EU to tackle hate speech and misinformation, according to Jourová, who spoke on the subject to Euractiv on Tuesday. She stated: “We need the platforms to work with the language to identify such incidents.”
She asserted that the regulations governing online expression in the European Union will be upheld, adding: “They apply to Twitter no matter who owns it. Musk shouldn’t disregard our efforts to hold large platforms accountable.”
“Regulators are already keeping a careful eye on adherence to the relevant data protection laws, and later this year, we will also be able to enforce the Digital Services Act,” according to Jourová.
By adding sanctions against internet sites that disobey the bloc’s laws, the Digital Services Act (DSA), which went into effect in November, significantly increased Brussels’ capacity to monitor “hate speech” and “disinformation.”
If businesses like Twitter don’t abide by the DSA by Feb. 2024, the EU will be able to punish them with up to 6% of their worldwide turnover and even shut down the platform altogether.