People in the UK who post “false information” about vaccines online could face two years in prison under a new law.
The Online Safety Bill, described as “the flagship legislation to combat abuse and hatred on the internet” has faced fierce criticism from civil liberties groups for its broad overreach.
The law would create a “knowingly false communication” offence which, according to the Times, “will criminalise those who send or post a message they know to be false with the intention to cause “emotional, psychological, or physical harm to the likely audience”. Government sources gave the example of antivaxers spreading false information that they know to be untrue.”
Given that authorities have deemed all kinds of information about the pandemic and vaccines “false” that later turned out to be true, this is a chilling prospect.