E.U. official says ‘hate speech’ laws are coming to America

A European Union (E.U.) official just predicted that the U.S. will soon enact laws that make hate speech illegal. 

This prediction, according to Fox News, was made by Věra Jourová, the European Commission’s vice president for Values and Transparency. Jourová is a Czech politician who had previously been the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers, and Gender Equality.

Jourová participated in a panel at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Tuesday. The panel was moderated by former CNN host Brian Stelter, and, among others, it included New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger and U.S. Rep. Seth Wilbur (D-MA).

The subject of the panel was “The Clear and Present Danger of Disinformation.”

It’s coming

It was during this panel that Jourová made her prediction.

“What qualifies as hate speech, as illegal hate speech, which you will have soon also in the U.S. . . .” Jourová said, while motioning toward Wilbur and letting out a laugh.

Jourová continued by claiming that the E.U., in her opinion, has “a strong reason” for making hate speech criminally illegal. What exactly that reason is was not immediately clear.

But, Moulton seemed to agree with Jourová regarding the idea that the U.S. needs hate speech laws – despite the fact that such laws would clearly infringe upon First Amendment free speech protections.

“I think in general the US has a lot to learn in terms of data regulation, internet regulation . . . You’re way ahead of us in that regard,” Moulton said.

Background

To put Jourová’s remarks into perspective, the E.U. has recently been at odds with Twitter and Elon Musk, the social media platform’s new owner. The disagreement stems from the fact that Musk wants the platform to have as much free speech as possible, whereas the E.U. clearly doesn’t – as evidenced by the so-called Digital Services Act (DSA).

Jourová and the E.U. want Twitter to participate in the enforcement of the E.U.’s hate speech laws. Jourová, in fact, argued that such laws “apply to Twitter regardless of who owns it,” adding, “Musk should not underestimate our efforts to make big platforms responsible.”

It appears that, in the near future, the E.U. will impose fines and possibly bans on the likes of Twitter for failure to comply with the DSA.

This is the sort of law that Jourová argued is coming to the U.S.