Europe wants world pact to contain dark side of the internet

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Ursula von der Leyen, the current president of the European Commission, has indicated that the economic bloc of countries in the Old Continent wants to establish a worldwide agreement on Internet rules with the United States government and other countries.

The objective, he said, is to defend democracy and human rights – and the speech was given during the World Economic Forum this Tuesday (26), which takes place virtually in 2021. Von der Leyen attributed the importance of the initiative to events similar to the invasion of the US Capitol in early January.

“What happened on Capitol Hill was a shock. We have always said that democracy is part of our genetic code, but we need to feed it every day and defend institutions from fake news and hate attacks,” said the German. “We saw the dark side of the digital world.”

In addition, the one also affiliated with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a center-right party of which she is one of the vice-presidents, highlighted the impacts of the digital environment in the real world, while mentioning one of the six fatalities that occurred in the episode.

“We found that it is a short step between conspiracy theories and the death of a police officer,” she said, adding that the network “has an impact not only on the issue of competition, but also on democracy, security and quality of information.”

Government role

After making his considerations, Ursula defended that the time has come to take actions. “We need to contain this immense power of online platforms. We want offline values ​​to be defended online. What is illegal offline must be illegal online,” he said, suggesting more humane interventions in web solutions: “Platforms need to be transparent about how algorithms work. Democracy cannot depend on computers. ”

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Finally, for Von der Leyen, legislation is to establish who should or should not use social networks, who still need to have responsibility for how they remove and promote content.

“As tempting as Twitter was to close Donald Trump’s account, this cannot be just a business decision. We need laws,” she added, believing that this will be one of the main aspects of democracy in the years to come.

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