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At UNESCO, Call to Regulate Digital Platforms in the Face of Online Disinformation and Hate

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Said UNESCO secretary-general Audrey Azoulay, "Only by taking the full measure of this technological revolution can we ensure it does not sacrifice human rights, freedom of expression, and democracy."

Credit: UNESCO

UNESCO's Internet For Trust Conference has brought together 4,300 participants to discuss regulatory solutions to the ongoing crisis of online information – the first ever such global conference. Speakers from UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, to the Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa underlined the urgent need for common global guidelines to improve the reliability of information while protecting human rights.

The Internet For Trust Conference serves as a high point in a global dialogue launched by UNESCO to develop first global guidelines for the regulation of social media to improve the reliability of information and promote human rights online. The Organization involved all stakeholders: governments, independent regulators, digital companies, academia and civil society. The guidelines will be launched by UNESCO in September 2023.

The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winner, journalist Maria Ressa from the Philippines, cautioned that if we continue to tolerate social media algorithms that reward lies, future generations will inherit a world in which truth has been dangerously devalued. "Without facts, you can't have truth; without truth, you can't have trust, and we have no shared reality."

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