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UK’s “online safety act” officially grants legacy media permission to publish lies

UK’s online safety act

In the UK it’s now official government policy that you cannot publish “misinformation” unless you are legacy media. The UK government recently signed the “Online Safety Act” which brands the publication of “false information” a criminal offense punishable by up to a year in prison.

Section 179 of the new law says a person commits an offence if the message conveys information that they know to be false with the intention to cause phsychological or physical harm to a likely audience. T

he same act, in section 180 says “a recognized news publisher cannot commit an offence under section 179. The act also buttresses this point by saying “an offence under section 179 cannot be committed by the holder of a license under the broadcasting act 1990 or 1996.”

All these exemptions are provided for without even getting into OfCom’s “select committee”, or how they choose to define “misinformation.” With the EU’s own Digital Services Act coming into force later this month, and all the focus on “misinformation and disinformation” at Davos two weeks ago, its visible where the real crackdown is targeted at.

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