MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Nobel Peace Prize laureates Maria Ressa and Dmitri Muratov unveil plans to “reshape independent journalism” to combat the information crisis and for-profit surveillance business models of tech giants. did.
They announced this at the Freedom of Expression conference in Oslo, Norway, on Friday, September 2nd.
Ressa said on Twitter that Big Tech’s business model, which “deliberately promotes hate and lies for profit,” is an “existential threat to democracy and peace.”
“Currently, the great potential of technology to move our society forward is undermined by the business models and designs of the dominant online platforms,” Ressa and Muratov said in their presentation.
“But we realize that true human progress comes from using technology to advance the rights and freedoms of all, not at the expense of them for the wealth and power of the few. Remind everyone in positions of power,” they added.
“Drastic action is required to detoxify the dominant online platforms and restore the democratic vision of the internet in the 21st century,” Ressa said in a tweet.
She called for investing in journalism to end the amplification of disinformation by tech platforms and fight tyranny.
Ressa, CEO of Rappler, and Muratov, editor-in-chief of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta Mr. Muratov has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 “for efforts to defend freedom of expression, a prerequisite for democracy and lasting peace.”
Ending the “for-profit surveillance business model”
The Nobel laureate noted that the current information ecosystem is powered by “opaque algorithms and recommendation systems built by technology companies that track and target us.”
“This for-profit surveillance business model is built on our supposed consent. Forcing us to choose to be shut out is simply not an option,” they said.
“The mega-mechanism of corporate surveillance not only violates our right to privacy, it also allows data to be used against us, undermines our freedoms and enables discrimination.” they added.
Ressa and Muratov note that Europe has begun to address this issue through the Digital Services and Digital Markets Acts, but that “these are intended to allow platforms to de-risk their designs, detox their algorithms and give real control to their users.” It must be enforced in a coercive manner,” he said.
“Privacy and data rights have so far been largely conceptual, but they need to be properly enforced. And advertisers should protect their customers from a technology industry that is actively harming people We have to use our money and influence to do so,” they said.
“Let’s eliminate technical discrimination”
Ressa and Muratov said global tech companies have failed to prioritize and equally protect consumers.
“Companies must be legally obliged to rigorously assess human rights risks and ensure appropriate language and cultural competence in every country in which they wish to expand. undisclosed decisions about moderation and algorithm changes, and forced to end all special exemptions for those with the most power and reach.
“These safety, design and product choices that affect billions of people cannot be left to the companies to decide. Rules of transparency and accountability will bring back the internet for the public good. It’s an essential first step for us,” they added.
“Rebuilding independent journalism as an antidote to tyranny”
Ressa and Muratov also noted the “power” unleashed by major technology platforms, stating that “the lies and hatred fueled by technology that drowns out the facts while devastating independent media by engulfing online advertising. of tsunamis,” he said.
Citing the fact that “only 13% of the world’s population currently has access to a free press,” they argue, even ending the proliferation of disinformation by technology platforms will not be enough to rebuild independent journalism. I said no.
“If we intend to retain the power to explain and protect journalists, we must either persist in place or stay in exile to ensure its sustainability while encouraging adherence to the ethical norms of journalism. We need unparalleled investment in a truly independent media that works,” they said.
They added: Governments must ensure the safety and independence of journalists who are increasingly being attacked, imprisoned or killed on the front lines of fighting this fact. “
call to action
Ressa and Muratov presented a 10-point action plan to “build a world where human rights, dignity and security are paramount.”
Nine other Nobel laureates and over 90 professional and civil society organizations endorsed the action plan.
“As Nobel Laureates, we send a united message from around the world.Together we can end this corporate and technological attack on our lives and liberties, but we must act now. It’s time to implement the solutions we already have to rebuild journalism and reclaim the technological architecture of global discourse for all of humanity.
On August 31, former and current legislators from Southeast Asian countries called on governments, civil society and the public sector to regard disinformation as a top regional and international concern.
The ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) conducted a fact-finding mission in the Philippines following the May 2022 national elections. The mission was intended to show that disinformation jeopardizes not only elections, but democracy and national security as a whole.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr., son of exiled late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, won the May presidential election by majority vote, sparked by former President Rodrigo Duterte’s “institutionalization” of disinformation via social media . As pro-Marcos propaganda flourished years before Marcos achieved his 2022 Malacanã comeback, his social disinformation on his media was a key factor influencing poll results. turned out to be.