New report calls on internet cos. to do more to fight terrorist incitement & disinformation in line with responsibility to uphold human rights

Author: NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights & World Economic Forum, Published on: 7 November 2017

"Harmful Content: The Role of Internet Platform Companies in Fighting Terrorist Incitement and Politically Motivated Disinformation", Nov 2017

Terrorist incitement and politically motivated disinformation…seek to distort…truth, discredit liberal institutions and… undermine “democratic values, human rights, and the rule of law”… [H]armful online expression can spread so…quickly that rebuttal…becomes ineffectual… Government regulation is often too blunt an instrument… Internet…companies assert…they are neither editors nor publishers and have no…ability to serve as arbiters… This long-standing position rests on an incorrect premise… [Their] own activities suggest that Facebook, Google, Twitter, and others can take effective action to counter…false information and terrorist incitement, even if they cannot be expected to develop impregnable defences. Google is experimenting with a…system that detects a user's interest in ISIS… YouTube…toughened its stance toward videos that contain inflammatory…content… [T]hey can do still more: Enhance company governance…, Refine the algorithms,… Introduce more “friction”,… Increase human oversight,… Reform advertising models,… Advance industry cooperation,… Identify government’s role… Given the peril of… government interference… major internet platforms ought to exercise the …governance authority of their own… This is not a responsibility to…act as an organ of government… [I]t is… consistent with their stated commitment to uphold human rights. [Refers to Alphabet, AppNexus, AT&T, Buzzfeed, Bing, GoDaddy, Instagram, Jigsaw, Johnson & Johnson, Messenger, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Pepsi, Signal, Skype, Snapchat, Telegram, WeChat, Walmart, WhatsApp].

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Related companies: Alphabet AT&T Bing (part of Microsoft) Facebook Google (part of Alphabet) Jigsaw (part of Robinson Webster Holdings) Johnson & Johnson LinkedIn (part of Microsoft) Microsoft PepsiCo Robinson Webster Signal International Skype (part of Microsoft) Telegram Messenger Twitter Walmart Whatsapp (part of Facebook) YouTube (part of Alphabet)