UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday urged the establishment of “guardrails” to prevent hate speech, extremism and misinformation.
“The online world is one of the main reasons that hate speech, extreme ideologies and misinformation are disseminating so fast around the world,” said the UN chief, calling on all those involved to do more to stop the spread, and set up enforceable “guardrails.”
At a UN ceremony to mark the Holocaust at the UN headquarters in New York, the top UN official warned that antisemitism, hate speech, and misinformation are ever-present, 90 years after the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany.
The UN chief noted that people are living in a world in which an economic crisis is breeding discontent, populist demagogues are using the crisis to win votes, and “misinformation, paranoid conspiracy theories, and unchecked hate speech” are rampant.
He warned that social media platforms and their advertisers are complicit in moving extremism to the mainstream, turning many parts of the Internet into “toxic waste dumps for hate and vicious lies.” ■