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UNESCO propagates ‘regulation of the Internet’

Censorship of "disinformation" and "hate speech" would protect human rights, freedom of expression and democracy, says UNESCO director Audrey Azoulay.

Published: March 1, 2023, 8:50 am


    The UN has long been committed to taking action against “hate speech” and “disinformation” on the Internet. The unelected organization, whose main mission is to facilitate conflict resolution around the world and to provide peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in war zones, has enjoyed acting as a mouthpiece for elite groups such as the World Economic Forum (WEF).

    What is new is that one of its special organizations, UNESCO, which is supposed to deal with international education, science and culture or the protection of world heritage in the form of monuments or natural areas, is now propagating its own “guidelines” for regulating alleged hate speech and misinformation, in order to protect “human rights, freedom of expression and democracy”.

    To this end, the Internet for Trust conference was organized at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris from February 21 to 23, 2023, with more than 4000 participants.

    The organisation’s Director General, Audrey Azoulay, stated: “The blurring of the lines between true and false, the highly organized denial of scientific facts, the spread of disinformation and conspiracies – none of this originated in social media. But in the absence of regulation, they thrive much better there than truth. Only if we take full advantage of this technological revolution can we ensure that it does not come at the expense of human rights, freedom of expression and democracy. In order for information to remain a common good, we must now think and act together.”

    The Deputy Secretary General for Global Communications of the United Nations, Melissa Fleming, was also allowed to comment on the subject. The UN has just conducted a survey of peacekeepers, and 44 percent said misinformation and hate speech on social media had an impact on their work. Because there are “things in circulation” that would increase public attacks on peacekeeping forces.

    No incentives needed

    According to Access Now’s annual KeepItOn report, governments across the world are already shutting down the internet more than ever to quell dissent and ahead of elections or to prevent the spread of what they claim is “misinformation”.

    Some 167 internet shutdowns occurred in 2022, compared to 112 in 2021, 99 in 2020 and 75 in 2019. The leading country, as it has been for the past five years, is India, with 84 shutdowns for 2023.

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