The Corner

Angela Merkel: Leading “Europe’s fight for liberal values” (and, maybe, censorship).

Financial Times, January 2, 2017:

With Donald Trump moving into the White House, Ms Merkel has faced calls to assume the mantle of leader of the western liberal world from Barack Obama. She dismisses the demands as “grotesque and absurd,” but she may not have much choice in the matter. The job is thrust upon her by the lack of another plausible candidate and the admirable positions she has staked out. She has pledged to fight for democracy, free trade and open societies…

The FT’s headline: “Angela Merkel leads Europe’s fight for liberal values”.

Financial Times, January 9, 2017:

Europeans may have more faith in mainstream media than Americans but they are still vulnerable to manipulation through social media. Ms Merkel, who has expressed alarm at the prospect of Russian interference in German elections being held later this year, has grounds for worry….

Berlin is considering imposing hefty fines on media outlets that spread false and malicious information. This may seem an undue restriction to freedom of speech but in the context of a propaganda war designed to undermine western democracy, it may be necessary to do more than enforce existing laws on libel and incitement.

And who defines what is “false and malicious information”?

As a wise man once asked: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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