HomeTech Social media bosses are “the biggest dictators,” says Nobel Peace Prize winner

Social media bosses are “the biggest dictators,” says Nobel Peace Prize winner

0 comment
Social media bosses are "the biggest dictators," says Nobel Peace Prize winner

“Tech bros” like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are “the biggest dictators,” said Maria Ressa, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for her defense of press freedom.

The American-Filipino journalist has spent several years fighting charges brought during the administration of then-Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, but said Duterte “is a much smaller dictator compared to Mark Zuckerberg, and now let me throw in Elon Musk “.

Speaking at the Hay literary festival in Powys, Ressa said Zuckerberg and Musk have “demonstrated that we all, regardless of our culture, language or geography, have much more in common than we have differences because we are all being manipulated in the same way.” .

Social media platforms have the ability to “change the way we feel,” he said, which in turn “changes the way we see the world and changes the way we act.”

Ressa said conversations about identity politics online have sparked similar cases of polarization around the world. These debates encourage “the kinds of questions that we think are our free will,” but they are not, Ressa said.

“In the Philippines, the fight was between the rich and the poor. In America, what matters is race,” she said. “Black Lives Matter… was bombarded on both sides by Russian propaganda. And the goal wasn’t to make people believe one thing. The goal was to open this wide open to create chaos.”

The way tech companies are “inciting polarization, inciting fear, anger and hatred” changes us “on a personal level, on a societal level,” he said.

He suggested two ways to lessen the control that tech companies have over us. First, he said, the United States should get rid of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, “which is what gives these companies impunity.” The section protects Internet companies from lawsuits over content posted by their users.

“And the other is, if you have kids, don’t let them get on (social media) until they’re old enough,” he said, because it’s “slightly addictive.”

While he believes the attempts to ban Chinese-owned TikTok in the United States and Italy are “excellent,” “it is not just TikTok” that we should be concerned about, but all social media and the Internet as a whole.

skip past newsletter promotion

“With generative AI, the quality of the information obtained is already getting worse,” he said, citing A study published earlier this year that showed that a “shocking” amount of the web is generated by shoddy AI.

“That was before generative AI really kicked in, and you know, at a certain point, it’s going to kick us out,” he said.

He urged Hay’s audience to “get into the real world” and organize with your family and friends, “because information operations are aimed at you. And when you become a transmission arm, you become part of the information testing team.”

You may also like