The UN secretary-general castigated Friday, on the occasion of the day of remembrance of the Holocaust, the “toxic discharges” of hatred online, accusing social networks of “complicity”.
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“Today it is not just violent extremism that we face; it is also, increasingly, terrorism. The threat is global and growing. One of the main accelerators of this growth: the digital world,” said Antonio Guterres during a ceremony at the UN General Assembly.
“Many parts of the internet are becoming toxic dumping grounds for hate and pernicious lies. They are catalysts which, driven by profit, trivialize extremism,” he continued.
“By using hate-stirring algorithms to keep users glued to their screens, social media platforms are complicit. Ditto for the advertisers who subsidize this economic model”, denounced the secretary general.
So “today I make an urgent appeal to all those who exert influence in the information ecosystem – regulators, policymakers, technology companies, the media, civil society and the powers that be. public. Stop the hate. Install guardrails. And enforce them,” he said.
“We cannot open new outlets for old hatreds and allow impunity to reign on digital platforms. Together, we must oppose facts to lies, education to ignorance, mobilization to indifference.
Describing the rise of National Socialism in the 1930s, he was alarmed that “today, echoes of this siren song of hatred are ringing in our ears”, in a context of economic crisis exacerbating the ” discontent”, “rampant misinformation” and “spread of paranoid conspiracy theories”.
He notably denounced the “attempts to rewrite history, to deny the Holocaust and to rehabilitate those who collaborated in it”.
“From one survey to another, the same observation is clear: anti-Semitism is reaching new heights. And what is true for anti-Semitism is also true for other forms of hatred. Racism. Anti-Muslim sectarianism. Xenophobia. Homophobia. Misogyny.”
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