by Eric Worrall at wattsupwiththat.com
h/t Dr. Willie Soon; “… We’ve seen narratives created … to delay climate action … a challenge we cannot afford to ignore as we head into a bumper election year in 2024…”
The speech by Melissa Fleming, UN Under Secretary General for Global Communications was given in October, but I’ve only just become aware of it, and I think it is relevant.
The following transcript was taken from the Youtube transcript. I added punctuation which wasn’t present in the original text to make it more readable.
Dear lleagues and Friends it is an honor to address you at the UN Roundtable of the 2023 Global media and information literacy week.
The theme of this year’s commemoration is a timely and critical one as the online landscape has only worsened since last year’s Gathering a key factor is that some of the largest digital platforms, instead of stepping up to address online harm, have lowered their guard rails either by reducing or decimating their trust and safety teams.
This is especially worrying as our colleagues around the world continue to report grave impacts of weaponized Mis and disinformation and hate speech. They flag information Wars which distort actual events on the battlefield or in humanitarian Arenas and disinformation is targeting our peacekeepers too, lies that result in division, vision polarization and even violence online posts as well are clearly turning anti-semitic racist or islamophobic.
We’ve seen narratives created around climate change as well designed to delay climate action and we’re even seeing conspiracies circulating around the STGs developed to generate controversy around our blueprint for a better world. We are worried how this free online atmosphere is undermining Democratic processes, a challenge we cannot afford to ignore as we head into a bumper election year in 2024, when more than two billion voters are eligible to go to the polls.
Meanwhile a rapid rise in generative AI has set off new alarm bills in the information Integrity Community. Disinformation actors have been given a potent low cost tool, making it easier to create sophisticated deep fakes or AI generated news sites programmed with false narratives. Disinformation and hate speech can now be created at greater scale and can be more easily personalized leaving absolutely no fingerprints.
The Secretary General has made it Crystal Clear we cannot go on like this we need to become more Nimble more targeted and strategic in our use of digital media and in our information literacy tactics, such as pre-bunking. At the department of Global Communications this will be a key preoccupation as we adapt the United Nations verified initiative to address climate disinformation.
Moreover as the UN system we need to continue advocating to all other stakeholders to invest in robust digital literacy drives.
Our aim should be to empower users of all ages to better understand how digital platforms work, how their personal data might be used, and to identify and respond to miss and disinformation and hate speech.