Bart De Wever on free speech in the De Zevende Dag news show: “I never thought liberals were going to be at the forefront of criminalising opinions”

30 May 2021
Bart De Wever

“This is a debate about censorship, whether censorship is a good idea and who should be allowed to apply censorship.” In the De Zevende Dag news show, N-VA Chairman Bart De Wever debated free speech and, among other things, the removal of a Facebook group that expressed support for Jürgen Conings. “In my view, only a judge can curtail free speech within a well-defined judicial framework. I’m not comfortable with Mark Zuckerberg or anyone else being able to decide what we put online. I find it completely unacceptable that algorithms patrol the internet and determine our freedom of speech.”

Protect citizens from government

The conversation also covered the conviction of four Voorpost militants for a banner that allegedly incites hatred. Chairman Bart De Wever reiterated that he considers that ruling dangerous, as are the plans of the Vivaldi government to criminalise “hate speech”. “Our fundamental rights and freedoms serve to protect citizens from the government, not to protect the government from citizens. They are going off track here. This is a very serious development. I never thought I would see liberals be at the forefront of this kind of thing.”

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