Placeholder Image

字幕表 動画を再生する

  • No matter who you are or where you live,

  • I'm guessing that you have at least one relative

  • that likes to forward those emails.

  • You know the ones I'm talking about --

  • the ones with dubious claims or conspiracy videos.

  • And you've probably already muted them on Facebook

  • for sharing social posts like this one.

  • It's an image of a banana

  • with a strange red cross running through the center.

  • And the text around it is warning people

  • not to eat fruits that look like this,

  • suggesting they've been injected with blood

  • contaminated with the HIV virus.

  • And the social share message above it simply says,

  • "Please forward to save lives."

  • Now, fact-checkers have been debunking this one for years,

  • but it's one of those rumors that just won't die.

  • A zombie rumor.

  • And, of course, it's entirely false.

  • It might be tempting to laugh at an example like this, to say,

  • "Well, who would believe this, anyway?"

  • But the reason it's a zombie rumor

  • is because it taps into people's deepest fears about their own safety

  • and that of the people they love.

  • And if you spend as enough time as I have looking at misinformation,

  • you know that this is just one example of many

  • that taps into people's deepest fears and vulnerabilities.

  • Every day, across the world, we see scores of new memes on Instagram

  • encouraging parents not to vaccinate their children.

  • We see new videos on YouTube explaining that climate change is a hoax.

  • And across all platforms, we see endless posts designed to demonize others

  • on the basis of their race, religion or sexuality.

  • Welcome to one of the central challenges of our time.

  • How can we maintain an internet with freedom of expression at the core,

  • while also ensuring that the content that's being disseminated

  • doesn't cause irreparable harms to our democracies, our communities

  • and to our physical and mental well-being?

  • Because we live in the information age,

  • yet the central currency upon which we all depend -- information --

  • is no longer deemed entirely trustworthy

  • and, at times, can appear downright dangerous.

  • This is thanks in part to the runaway growth of social sharing platforms

  • that allow us to scroll through,

  • where lies and facts sit side by side,

  • but with none of the traditional signals of trustworthiness.

  • And goodness -- our language around this is horribly muddled.

  • People are still obsessed with the phrase "fake news,"

  • despite the fact that it's extraordinarily unhelpful

  • and used to describe a number of things that are actually very different:

  • lies, rumors, hoaxes, conspiracies, propaganda.

  • And I really wish we could stop using a phrase

  • that's been co-opted by politicians right around the world,

  • from the left and the right,

  • used as a weapon to attack a free and independent press.

  • (Applause)

  • Because we need our professional news media now more than ever.

  • And besides, most of this content doesn't even masquerade as news.

  • It's memes, videos, social posts.

  • And most of it is not fake; it's misleading.

  • We tend to fixate on what's true or false.

  • But the biggest concern is actually the weaponization of context.

  • Because the most effective disinformation

  • has always been that which has a kernel of truth to it.

  • Let's take this example from London, from March 2017,

  • a tweet that circulated widely

  • in the aftermath of a terrorist incident on Westminster Bridge.

  • This is a genuine image, not fake.

  • The woman who appears in the photograph was interviewed afterwards,

  • and she explained that she was utterly traumatized.

  • She was on the phone to a loved one,

  • and she wasn't looking at the victim out of respect.

  • But it still was circulated widely with this Islamophobic framing,

  • with multiple hashtags, including: #BanIslam.

  • Now, if you worked at Twitter, what would you do?

  • Would you take that down, or would you leave it up?

  • My gut reaction, my emotional reaction, is to take this down.

  • I hate the framing of this image.

  • But freedom of expression is a human right,

  • and if we start taking down speech that makes us feel uncomfortable,

  • we're in trouble.

  • And this might look like a clear-cut case,

  • but, actually, most speech isn't.

  • These lines are incredibly difficult to draw.

  • What's a well-meaning decision by one person

  • is outright censorship to the next.

  • What we now know is that this account, Texas Lone Star,

  • was part of a wider Russian disinformation campaign,

  • one that has since been taken down.

  • Would that change your view?

  • It would mine,

  • because now it's a case of a coordinated campaign

  • to sow discord.

  • And for those of you who'd like to think

  • that artificial intelligence will solve all of our problems,

  • I think we can agree that we're a long way away

  • from AI that's able to make sense of posts like this.

  • So I'd like to explain three interlocking issues

  • that make this so complex

  • and then think about some ways we can consider these challenges.

  • First, we just don't have a rational relationship to information,

  • we have an emotional one.

  • It's just not true that more facts will make everything OK,

  • because the algorithms that determine what content we see,

  • well, they're designed to reward our emotional responses.

  • And when we're fearful,

  • oversimplified narratives, conspiratorial explanations

  • and language that demonizes others is far more effective.

  • And besides, many of these companies,

  • their business model is attached to attention,

  • which means these algorithms will always be skewed towards emotion.

  • Second, most of the speech I'm talking about here is legal.

  • It would be a different matter

  • if I was talking about child sexual abuse imagery

  • or content that incites violence.

  • It can be perfectly legal to post an outright lie.

  • But people keep talking about taking down "problematic" or "harmful" content,

  • but with no clear definition of what they mean by that,

  • including Mark Zuckerberg,

  • who recently called for global regulation to moderate speech.

  • And my concern is that we're seeing governments

  • right around the world

  • rolling out hasty policy decisions

  • that might actually trigger much more serious consequences

  • when it comes to our speech.

  • And even if we could decide which speech to take up or take down,

  • we've never had so much speech.

  • Every second, millions of pieces of content

  • are uploaded by people right around the world

  • in different languages,

  • drawing on thousands of different cultural contexts.

  • We've simply never had effective mechanisms

  • to moderate speech at this scale,

  • whether powered by humans or by technology.

  • And third, these companies -- Google, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp --

  • they're part of a wider information ecosystem.

  • We like to lay all the blame at their feet, but the truth is,

  • the mass media and elected officials can also play an equal role

  • in amplifying rumors and conspiracies when they want to.

  • As can we, when we mindlessly forward divisive or misleading content

  • without trying.

  • We're adding to the pollution.

  • I know we're all looking for an easy fix.

  • But there just isn't one.

  • Any solution will have to be rolled out at a massive scale, internet scale,

  • and yes, the platforms, they're used to operating at that level.

  • But can and should we allow them to fix these problems?

  • They're certainly trying.

  • But most of us would agree that, actually, we don't want global corporations

  • to be the guardians of truth and fairness online.

  • And I also think the platforms would agree with that.

  • And at the moment, they're marking their own homework.

  • They like to tell us

  • that the interventions they're rolling out are working,

  • but because they write their own transparency reports,

  • there's no way for us to independently verify what's actually happening.

  • (Applause)

  • And let's also be clear that most of the changes we see

  • only happen after journalists undertake an investigation

  • and find evidence of bias

  • or content that breaks their community guidelines.

  • So yes, these companies have to play a really important role in this process,

  • but they can't control it.

  • So what about governments?

  • Many people believe that global regulation is our last hope

  • in terms of cleaning up our information ecosystem.

  • But what I see are lawmakers who are struggling to keep up to date

  • with the rapid changes in technology.

  • And worse, they're working in the dark,

  • because they don't have access to data

  • to understand what's happening on these platforms.

  • And anyway, which governments would we trust to do this?

  • We need a global response, not a national one.

  • So the missing link is us.

  • It's those people who use these technologies every day.

  • Can we design a new infrastructure to support quality information?

  • Well, I believe we can,

  • and I've got a few ideas about what we might be able to actually do.

  • So firstly, if we're serious about bringing the public into this,

  • can we take some inspiration from Wikipedia?

  • They've shown us what's possible.

  • Yes, it's not perfect,

  • but they've demonstrated that with the right structures,

  • with a global outlook and lots and lots of transparency,

  • you can build something that will earn the trust of most people.

  • Because we have to find a way to tap into the collective wisdom

  • and experience of all users.

  • This is particularly the case for women, people of color

  • and underrepresented groups.

  • Because guess what?

  • They are experts when it comes to hate and disinformation,

  • because they have been the targets of these campaigns for so long.

  • And over the years, they've been raising flags,

  • and they haven't been listened to.

  • This has got to change.

  • So could we build a Wikipedia for trust?

  • Could we find a way that users can actually provide insights?

  • They could offer insights around difficult content-moderation decisions.

  • They could provide feedback

  • when platforms decide they want to roll out new changes.

  • Second, people's experiences with the information is personalized.

  • My Facebook news feed is very different to yours.

  • Your YouTube recommendations are very different to mine.

  • That makes it impossible for us to actually examine

  • what information people are seeing.

  • So could we imagine

  • developing some kind of centralized open repository for anonymized data,

  • with privacy and ethical concerns built in?

  • Because imagine what we would learn

  • if we built out a global network of concerned citizens

  • who wanted to donate their social data to science.

  • Because we actually know very little

  • about the long-term consequences of hate and disinformation

  • on people's attitudes and behaviors.

  • And what we do know,

  • most of that has been carried out in the US,

  • despite the fact that this is a global problem.

  • We need to work on that, too.

  • And third,

  • can we find a way to connect the dots?

  • No one sector, let alone nonprofit, start-up or government,

  • is going to solve this.

  • But there are very smart people right around the world

  • working on these challenges,

  • from newsrooms, civil society, academia, activist groups.

  • And you can see some of them here.

  • Some are building out indicators of content credibility.

  • Others are fact-checking,

  • so that false claims, videos and images can be down-ranked by the platforms.

  • A nonprofit I helped to found, First Draft,

  • is working with normally competitive newsrooms around the world

  • to help them build out investigative, collaborative programs.

  • And Danny Hillis, a software architect,

  • is designing a new system called The Underlay,

  • which will be a record of all public statements of fact

  • connected to their sources,

  • so that people and algorithms can better judge what is credible.

  • And educators around the world are testing different techniques

  • for finding ways to make people critical of the content they consume.

  • All of these efforts are wonderful, but they're working in silos,

  • and many of them are woefully underfunded.

  • There are also hundreds of very smart people

  • working inside these companies,

  • but again, these efforts can feel disjointed,