UN urges actions against mis- and disinformation and hate speech

UN has launched recommendations for urgent actions against mis- and disinformation and hate speech.

“The world must respond to the harm caused by the spread of online hate and lies while robustly upholding human rights,” United Nations Secretary- General António Guterres said today at the launch of the United Nations Global Principles for Information Integrity.

Speaking one year after the launch of his report into information integrity on digital platforms, the Secretary-General put forward a framework for coordinated international action to make information spaces safer and more humane, one of the most urgent tasks of our time.

Misinformation, disinformation, hate speech and other risks to the information ecosystem are fueling conflict, threatening democracy and human rights, and undermining public health and climate action. Their proliferation is now being supercharged by the rapid rise of readily available Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, increasing the threat to groups often targeted in information spaces, including children.

“The United Nations Global Principles for Information Integrity aim to empower people to demand their rights,” said the Secretary-General. “At a time when billions of people are exposed to false narratives, distortions and lies, these principles lay out a clear path forward, firmly rooted in human rights, including the rights to freedom of expression and opinion.”

The UN chief issued an urgent appeal to government, tech companies, advertisers and the PR industry to step up and take responsibility for the spread and monetization of content that results in harm.

UN infographic on launch of guiding principles on recommendations for urgent actions against mis- and disinformation and hate speech

The proposals include:

  • Governments, tech companies, advertisers, media and other stakeholders should refrain from using, supporting or amplifying disinformation and hate speech for any purpose.
  • Governments should provide timely access to information, guarantee a free, viable, independent, and plural media landscape and ensure strong protections for journalists, researchers and civil society.
  • Tech companies should ensure safety and privacy by design in all products, alongside consistent application of policies and resources across countries and languages, with particular attention to the needs of those groups often targeted online. They should elevate crisis response and take measures to support information integrity around elections.
  • Tech companies and AI developers should ensure meaningful transparency and allow researchers and academics access to data while respecting user privacy, commission publicly- available independent audits and co-develop industry accountability frameworks.
  • Government, tech companies, AI developers and advertisers should take special measures to protect and empower children, with governments providing resources for parents, guardians and educators.


For further information see here.

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