EU Commission Retracts Attack Piece on European’s

The EU Commission attacked European’s as mobs and examples of fake “activism”. Now, they have retracted that article saying that their attack is being misunderstood.

The divide between established European politicians and their own people continues to widen. Yesterday, we reported on the attack piece by the European Commission. That piece itself accused European’s of fake activism and having a disturbing political culture.

While the politicians inside government halls were attacking European’s, European citizens were outside protesting Article 11 (link tax) and Article 13 (censorship machines). Many European’s went out to protest as part of the Save Your Internet movement.

With the battle over the Internet pitting politicians against their own voters, it seems that the EU commission is now backtracking a bit on their assault. TechDirt is noting that the original piece attacking European citizens has now been retracted from Medium. In its place is this note:

We have removed this article as it has been understood in a way that doesn’t reflect the Commission’s position.

Techdirt points out that no apology for the inflammatory attacks was really offered. Instead, the commission decided to word their reason in a way that tries to distance themselves from fault.

It’s worth pointing out that one of the concerns being raised by the commission is that people are trying to portray this as the government working against the wishes of the people. There is definitely that sentiment thanks to the laws that would see businesses get shut down and free speech curtailed.

The problem here politically is that when politicians being lobbing attacks on their own voters directly, it only proves the citizens point in a much more direct manner. Additionally, a politician attacking their voters directly is almost always going to be a political non-starter. That is definitely the case here.

As for the retraction itself, that is going to give off the impression that a political strategy didn’t work and the creators of that strategy wound up admitting to it. So, that in and of itself makes a retraction note a very difficult one to craft. The fact that it lays blame at the reader’s feet is probably one of the worst ways that it could have been handled. This is because you get that sentiment that inflammatory attitudes persists even after admitting that what the author did was wrong.

From a public relations front, this is a disaster from beginning to end. Already, there is a push for a law that no one really wants and now there is a widening rift between politicians and voters inflamed by the politicians actions.

So, where to from here? At this point, the logical course of action would be to withdraw the directive completely. After that, have a cooling off period so tempers have a chance to cool down. From there, open public consultations on how best to reform copyright laws that is open and transparent to the public. Right now, public relations with the government of Europe has taken a huge hit thanks to this copyright directive and the only remotely possible way out is to just hit the reset button at this point.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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