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Head of Controversial Global Engagement Center Admits Europe’s Regulatory Power Over Social Media Censorship Enforcement

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The head of the US State Department’s highly controversial Global Engagement Center (GEC), James Rubin, appears to be on a “press tour” to promote more stringent regulation around social media, and more censorship.

Rubin is doing this seemingly oblivious of the “elephant in the room” – that GEC is at the center of scandals involving government/Big Tech collusion (this bureau engaged in flagging posts on social media) and even lawsuits stemming from these accusations.

Many of Rubin’s comments made on a recent Politico podcast episode compare and contrast the degree to which the EU and the US are able to regulate social media (and stifle speech).

He also seeks to reinforce the perception of GEC not as a government workaround for carrying out censorship on privately-owned platforms (which would be illegal in the US), but as an entity that is vital in combating “disinformation.”

In this case, AI is considered as a “force for good,” as Rubin revealed GEC would start using it to counter what it decides to consider as “disinformation,” and the policy is also to make sure as many other countries as possible fall in line with the US on this issue.

Regarding what the US could learn from others, Rubin singled out the EU where regulatory frameworks allow the authorities to carry out control and censorship of online information more aggressively, but also praised the work his country, the UK, and Canada are doing together to impose the use of AI watermarks.

Asked to what degree GEC “engages directly” with social platforms, Rubin first deflected by lamenting about how much better equipped the EU is to combat “misinformation” thanks to greater regulatory powers, and then claimed that GEC “does not work with them (platforms) – we meet with them.”

As for what “not working” with someone means according to Rubin, it goes like this: “We try to discuss the trends and the tactics that are used by manipulative countries or non-state actors. We work on that with them. We consult with them. They tell us what they’re seeing. We tell them what we’re seeing.”

He also asserted, “We do not ask them to take things down.”

As for AI, Rubin said it is used by his department “properly, under the right rules.”

And he provided insight into how tech companies are these days developing AI, which he said is better than before – and can also be taken as another example of government and Big Tech “not working together.”

“The good news about AI as compared to social media is that right away the companies that are creating this technology are doing something today they didn’t do 15, 20 years ago, which is realized the risks, and they are working with the government instead of seeing government as the adversary, to try to ensure that as this technology evolves that the risks are dealt with properly,” said Rubin.

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