I came across this clip about social media and how they’ve largely become a tool for disinformation / hate crime as opposed to how they were intended to be as a source dedicated to promoting the exchange of information / collaboration. I do not know – or more accurately I have not looked into – when this transformation started but one thing I do know is that political corruption/extremist ideology – national/foreign – has fueled this trend through leading by example of how to abuse the Internet’s open ecosystem and fine tuning its technology/social media platforms to help blur the divide between fact & fiction. I’ve written about this situation in a previous post. People will come up with a myriad of ways to help resolve this nugget and here is my 2 cents worth of contribution;
- There needs to be some form of International/Independent body with representation in some capacity in major trading blocs to help regulate social media platforms to prevent the abuse of the Internet in a manner that is totally independent of the politics of the day and transparent enough for people to grasp. Letting governments deal with this situation nationally would produce the precisely opposite effect, while having each political/economic bloc develop their own set of regulations will further complicate the situation by creating legal limbos for both companies and the public.
- As mentioned in previous posts our laws need to finally come to reflect/adapt to the surge of new technologies that we see today in terms of regulating potential abuse by the public or by the companies themselves that introduce them. In other words a more rigorous certification process needs to be established for companies that are media based to ensure they follow a clearly defined set of widely accepted rules before they’re allowed entry into the marketplace.
- Finally/more importantly we need to finally come to the realization that freedom of speech does have its limits which is this;
Disinformation that threatens national security or threatens harm to others. Proof to demonstrate such abuse however articulate we get cannot be defined independently of context so this needs to be left for the justice system and the courts to establish.
Finally, as President Macron is currently seeking to do with regards to having a referendum for Constitutional change to include a commitment to fight climate change, a similar approach would be very beneficial where nations begin to consider constitutional changes that demonstrate their commitment to fighting disinformation while making a clear distinction between freedom of speech and the abuse of personal freedoms.
There is so much that needs to be mentioned and I am certain there are plenty of legal experts out there that can better articulate the issue and potential solutions but l hope that we can all begin to agree that this is a problem that needs sorting pretty fast otherwise we’ll be entirely focused on putting out fires for the next decade or so rather than facing the many other challenges we face in a word growing more complex by the day.
Where Disinformation is concerned the age of relying on self-regulation should come to a graceful end.