September 5, 2022 – A manifesto presented by a group of Nobel peace prize winners has demanded that the governments tackle the “existential threat” posed by disinformation and hate speech online with a technology action plan.
The 10-point manifesto, presented by 2021 Nobel laureates in Oslo on Friday by journalists Dmitry Muratov and Maria Ressa, calls for a technology action plan to counter disinformation. It warns that the business models of powerful tech firms are undermining technology’s potential to advance societies.
“We urge rights-respecting democracies to wake up to the existential threat of information ecosystems being distorted by a Big Tech business model fixated on harvesting people’s data and attention, even as it undermines serious journalism and polarises debate in society and political life,” states the plan.
The plan was presented at the Freedom of Expression conference at the Nobel Peace Centre in Norway. It proposes three general demands: an end to “surveillance-for-profit” business models of dominant tech firms that harvest user data, asking tech companies to treat global users equally, and urging governments and newsrooms to support independent journalism, according to The Guardian.
Nadia Murad, who was awarded the peace prize in 2018 for her work to end the sexual violence being used as a weapon in war, has endorsed the proposal alongside seven other recipients, including Leymah Gbowee, who was bestowed the prize in 2011 for leading the women’s peace movement that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003.
Additionally, rights-respecting democratic governments” have been urged to have tech corporations carry out independent human rights assessments, introduce data protection laws, and finance vulnerable independent media around the world.