The issue is less technology than its use

By Mahesh Kotecha

Facebook and other social media use was a factor in Tahrir Square. It was lauded then but arguably the Arab Spring failed.

Facebook and other social media are blamed (correctly) for misinformation and election meddling leading to the rise of Trump in the US.

Wikileaks is a major culprit in all this.

But the issue is less the technology than its use for profit (Facebook) or glory (Assange).

Unfortunately in open societies it is not possible fully to control such abuses but it is possible to disclose and punish their occurrence and to promote fact checking (even on line and in real time) as a tool to fight misinformation and social media propagated hate.

We must do this to continue to benefit from technology while containing its abuse as it is difficult fully to control it because technology keeps moving forward and its control will thus always lag behind.

 

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