CEO of Center for Democracy and Technology Alexandra Reeve Givens is one of those who have tuned up at this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF), apparently well equipped and eager to promote state censorship, and throw a couple of red herrings in there, presumably for the sake of “credibility.”
Givens, whose group has made it to Spotify’s “safety advisory council” and was keen to see the Biden administration set up an online “disinformation” task, has spoken at one of WEF panels to lament an injunction that aims to stop the current White House from further pressuring Big Tech on speech issues.
Apparently, not only should they continue to work under this pressure, but should also be, figuratively, tarred and feathered, and dragged to, say, Davos – to “talk about the (censorship) work (they’re doing)” – i.e., be “held accountable.”
Another complaint heard from Givens is that there is now more scrutiny in the US, specifically from Congress, about what these social media companies and their “misinformation researcher partners” have been doing.
While the free-speech world may cautiously welcome such trends, Givens does not – to her mind it just means there is less censorship (“moderation”) on social platforms, whereas the same “thinker” is convinced these companies have a “duty to help surface the trusted sources of information.”
It’s pretty clear what we’re hearing here, but Givens decided to confuse things a little – at least on the surface – by expressing her concern that “governments are cracking down on free speech.”
Here’s the full section:
“So in the United States, for example, right now we have congressional investigations and lawsuits against people that study misinformation about elections on social media platforms. There is currently an injunction in place stopping the Biden administration from communicating with social media platforms about interference threats on the topics of elections that’s actually going before the United States Supreme Court this year. So we’re in this bizarre environment where right as the threats are ticking up, the investments in actually doing the day-to-day work of online trust and safety for our information environment is being scaled back and is under attack.”
But not to worry – these would be some other governments, since Givens’ entire stance of “misinformation and moderation” in terms of how the Biden administration is doing it is positive – if anything, she would like to see more of the same and get the courts and a pesky Congress out of that particular way.
Givens’ overall performance at WEF was more of what we have been hearing from “misinformation” fearmongers, trying to justify the practice that ends up in censorship, as some sort of (perverted) key democracy issue.
She mentions the role played by “authoritative information” coming from no doubt politically and ideologically vetted journalists – and “journalist.” And, peppers in a bit of “AI-generated misinformation” alarmism in there.
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