13 MEPs were tricked into voting for the European Union Copyright Directive when they initially planned to vote against it, a crucial error which led to the measure passing by just 5 votes, but the EU has refused to hold the vote again.

“An extra vote was inserted into the voting list at the last minute which threw most MEPs’ voting lists out of sync,” reports the Guido Fawkes blog. “Unlike the Commons where MPs have to physically make the decision to walk through lobbies, MEPs just robotically press buttons according to a long voting list handed out to them. A clear warning of the dangers of electronic voting…”

Since the measure passed by a mere 5 votes, the 13 votes that went the wrong way were crucial to the outcome. If the MEPs had not been tricked, they would not have been blocked from voting on amendments to the bill, including the notorious Article 13.

However, despite complaints, the EU has refused to revisit the result of the vote or hold the vote again, merely agreeing to change the voting record of the individual MEPs.

“It’s appalling, but that’s how this place works on a regular basis,” said Brexit Party MEP Bill Etheridge . “It’s only come to people’s attention this time because it’s a high profile issue.”

This is a shocking illustration of how the EU operates. The vote has basically been stolen and yet the European Parliament refuses to do anything about it.

Critics say Article 13 will force social media companies to introduce filters that will automatically block content uploaded by users. This would include transformative content, including memes that are widely considered fair use but would be blocked by the filter.

Such a system would also be completely open to abuse in terms of censoring free speech.

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