From Watts Up With That?
Essay by Eric Worrall
UN bureaucrats and mostly left wing politicians are pushing to rebuild a societal sense of “shared reality”, by shutting down climate skeptics and other online voices they deem to be “misinformation”.
Internet for Trust Conference discusses guidelines for online platforms
23 February 2023 Culture and Education
The first-ever conference to discuss draft global guidelines for regulating digital platforms ended on Thursday in Paris with a call to uphold the right to seek and receive information in the face of rising disinformation online.
More than 4,300 people participated in the Internet for Trust Conference, organized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which will launch the guidelines in September.
The three-day event marked the latest phase in the global dialogue to develop regulatory solutions for social media to improve the reliability of information and promote human rights online.
“The blurring of boundaries between true and false, the highly-organized denial of scientific facts, the amplification of disinformation and conspiracies – these did not originate on social networks. But, in the absence of regulation, they flourish there much better than the truth,” UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay warned in her opening speech.
She urged countries to act together so that information remains a global common good, stating that “only by taking the full measure of this technological revolution can we ensure it does not sacrifice human rights, freedom of expression and democracy.”
In his message to the Conference, the Brazilian President, who is known as “Lula”, recalled the violent attacks last month against democratic institutions in his country.
“What happened that day was the culmination of a campaign, initiated much earlier, and that used lies and disinformation as ammunition,” he said.
“To a large extent, this campaign was nurtured, organized, and disseminated through digital platforms and messaging apps. This is the same method used to generate acts of violence elsewhere in the world. It must stop.”
The UNESCO chief closed the conference by urging all countries to join its efforts to transform the internet into a tool which is truly at the service of the public and that helps assure the right to freedom of expression, which includes the right to seek and receive information.
…Read more: https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/02/1133827
President Lula da Silva of Brazil, who was one of the headline speakers, is an ardent advocate of shutting down narratives he thinks are disinformation. In 2018 Da Silva was convicted of corruption and money laundering. Da Silva’s conviction for corruption was overturned in 2021, after the Supreme Court ruled the evidence against him was inadmissible because the prosecutor was biased.
Da Silva blames “disinformation” for the protests which rocked his nation in the wake of the 2022 presidential election, “disinformation” spread by people who accused Da Silva of rigging the election.
The article above does not explicitly mention climate change, though they mentioned “highly organised denial of scientific facts”. The UN has made it pretty clear they consider climate skepticism to be disinformation, so I think we’re pretty safe assuming climate skepticism is part of the set of free speech the UN wants shut down.
Rampant disinformation is delaying climate action
Climate disinformation is shared widely online, seeking to sow division and delay climate action. We need to fight back and flood the feeds with reliable, accurate information, writes UN Under-Secretary-General Melissa
…Read more: https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/rampant-disinformation-delaying-climate-action
The USA and Canada have also run their own attempts to shut down “disinformation”, like Biden’s short lived “Disinformation Governance Board”, and Canada’s Bill C-11, an ongoing legislative attempt to restrict online free speech.
I’m actually encouraged by these frantic efforts by mostly left wing politicians and UN bureaucrats to use coercion to regain control of the narrative, because I see it as evidence they are losing. Across the world people are increasingly doing their own research. Those who crave power over our lives don’t seem to like the conclusions empowered free people are drawing from the evidence.
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