UN Secretary-General says algorithms should not control what people see, issues global principles on information integrity — a global issue

united nations Secretary-General António Guterres It outlined key recommendations aimed at making the information space safer while at the same time upholding human rights such as freedom of speech.

“At a time when billions of people are being bombarded with false stories, distortions and lies, These principles offer a clear way forward that is firmly rooted in human rights.“We guarantee rights, including freedom of expression and freedom of opinion,” he said.

The Secretary-General called on governments, technology companies, advertisers and the public relations industry to hold themselves accountable for spreading and monetizing harmful content.

Hurt our world

He stressed that combating misinformation and hate speech is crucial to safeguarding democracy, human rights, public health and climate action.

The spread of hatred and lies online is causing serious harm to the world.” He said, Media Coverage At the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The UN chief added that the UN’s own humanitarian and peacekeeping operations were being put at risk as UN staff dealt with a “tsunami of falsehoods” and “absurd conspiracy theories”.

False narratives and lies breed cynicism and undermine social cohesion and sustainable development.

Opaque algorithms

He argued that everyone should be able to express themselves freely without fear of attack and have access to a wide range of opinions and information.

No one should be at the mercy of algorithms over which they have no control that are not designed to protect their interests.“They then track their behavior, collect personal data and keep them hooked,” he said.

Mr. Guterres added that the Global Principles aim to enable people to claim their rights, help protect children, provide young people with honest and reliable information, and enable public interest media to convey trustworthy and accurate information.

Trust and resilience for the public good

The Principles were developed through broad consultation with UN Member States, the private sector, youth leaders, media, academia and civil society.

They focus on building trust and resilience, ensuring an independent and pluralistic media, creating healthy incentives based on fact-based information, enhancing transparency and scrutiny, and empowering citizens.

Key recommendations include urging governments, technology companies, advertisers and media to avoid the use and amplification of disinformation and hate speech, while governments should ensure timely access to information, support an independent media environment and protect journalists and civil society.

Technology companies must prioritize safety and privacy, apply consistent policies, and support information integrity, especially when it comes to elections, while stakeholders in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) must ensure its safe, responsible, and ethical deployment, taking human rights into account.

Prioritize safety and privacy

Additionally, technology companies should move away from business models that rely on algorithm-driven advertising and prioritize engagement over human rights, instead prioritizing user privacy and safety.

Advertisers should demand transparency from the tech industry into the digital advertising process to ensure they aren’t inadvertently funding misinformation and hateful messaging.

Technology companies and AI developers also need to provide meaningful transparency and allow researchers to access data while respecting user privacy, and executives need to ensure independent audits and enforce accountability.

Governments, tech companies, AI developers and advertisers should take special measures to protect and empower children, and governments should provide resources for parents, guardians and educators.

These recommendations are based on the Secretary-General’s 2021 report. Our Common Challengeoutlines a vision for future global cooperation and multilateral action, which can serve as a resource for Member States ahead of the Conference. Future SummitIt will be held in September.

Press Conference by the Secretary-General announcing the Global Principles

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