Arcom, the French television regulation agency, yesterday ordered the communication satellite company Eutelsat to stop allowing three Russian channels from broadcasting using the satellites.
In a news release, Arcom said the television stations’ coverage of Russia’s war in Ukraine “include repeated incitement to hatred and violence and numerous shortcomings to the honesty of the information.” Eutelsat said in a brief statement that “it will no longer be involved in the broadcasting of the three sanctioned channels within the prescribed time-frame.”
Arcom’s decision comes a week after France’s top administrative court, prompted by a request from the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders advocacy group, ordered Arcom to review an initial decision to permit Eutelsat to continue carrying the stations.
Arcom’s claim, that it made this order because of the content of the broadcasts, is another example of the blacklisting/censorship culture we now live in. The French regulators could have simply stated that, as an ally of the Ukraine in the Russian-Ukraine war, it does not want French-regulated satellites to provide aid to the Russian side. There is a war going on, and this alone is a rational reason to block the Russian channels.
Instead, Arcom uses censorship as its justification. It doesn’t like what the Russians are saying, and therefore has the right to censor them. Remember this argument, because in the future Arcom will likely use it again, but next time against any one of the other broadcast channels under its control that simply says something it doesn’t like.
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