Our Common Agenda - Policy Brief 8: Information Integrity on Digital Platforms
13 June 2023
The Secretary-General (SG) of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has launched a new Policy Brief under 'Our Common Agenda', highlighting the critical issue of 'Information Integrity on Digital Platforms'. The rapid advancement of new technology brings a host of benefits and opportunities, but also significant threats. One of these is the growing concern over the integrity of information disseminated on digital platforms. With the advent of technologies such as generative AI, which some scientists equate with the existential threat of nuclear war, the dangers of misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech on digital platforms are more alarming than ever. The SG emphasizes that we must heed these warnings and act accordingly to safeguard our societies and democratic systems.
The SG stresses that digital platforms have served as powerful tools for connection, uplifting marginalized voices, and mobilizing global movements. However, the misuse of these platforms to subvert science, spread disinformation, and incite hate has led to fear rather than hope. Misinformation fuels conflicts, endangers democracy and human rights, and undermines public health and climate action. In response to this clear and present threat, the United Nations has issued a Policy Brief on information integrity on digital platforms, offering a framework for a coordinated international response. The recommendations aim to help governments and tech companies establish guidelines promoting facts, expose lies and conspiracies, and protect freedom of expression and information.
To create a safer and more inclusive digital space while upholding human rights, the Policy Brief proposes several measures. These include refraining from spreading disinformation and hate speech, guaranteeing a diverse media landscape, ensuring consistent policies by digital platforms worldwide, setting protocols for rapid responses during crises, and promoting data transparency. Tech companies are encouraged to reconsider their business models that prioritize engagement over human rights, privacy, and safety. The Policy Brief also calls for users to have greater influence on policy decisions and for advertisers to take responsibility for the impact of their spending. In conclusion, the SG expresses hope that this Policy Brief will contribute to discussions leading up to the Summit of the Future, emphasizing the urgent need for action in promoting information integrity on digital platforms. You can download the English version of "Our Common Agenda - Policy Brief 8: Information Integrity on Digital Platforms" through the button below this article.