COMMENT BLOG

A remark, a critique, an opinion…

New Year, new digital responsibilities

New Year, new digital responsibilities

Last year – and even as recently as January 6, 2021 – saw anti-democratic tendencies and misinformation magnified by social media in several countries, contributing to near breakdowns in the rule of law. It is time for stringent regulation of social media companies...

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Remembering the past to reimagine the future

Remembering the past to reimagine the future

Cloud storage and hard drives are today’s scrapbooks, records, and memories. In his book delete (2009), Viktor Mayer-Schönberger explored “The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age”. He writes, “As humans we do not travel ignorantly through time. With our capacity...

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Speaking up for decency and dialogue

Speaking up for decency and dialogue

Stars on the digital Walk of Infamy are being awarded to world leaders. Former US President Donald Trump, current Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and current Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro have each received one. They have been admonished by Twitter and...

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Facial recognition use and abuse

Facial recognition use and abuse

Public safety and national security are two advantages of facial recognition technology. Law enforcement agencies use the technology to identify known criminals and to find missing children or seniors. Airports are increasingly adding facial recognition technology to...

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Biosurveillance can threaten human rights

Biosurveillance can threaten human rights

Using smartphones to track and trace during the Covid-19 epidemic creates a smokescreen for wider surveillance measures that may infringe people’s right to privacy. Human rights activists are concerned that such data can be used to discriminate against migrants,...

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Time to detrumpify the media

Time to detrumpify the media

The antics of the outgoing US president have raised profound questions about the role of mass and social media in society today. How do public interest media – the kind that publish information and points of view on important issues that affect policies, lives, and...

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Democracy is freedom of the press

Democracy is freedom of the press

People the world over are willing – some are even praying for – a free and fair election in the USA on November 3. In ordinary times, for that to happen the media must also be free and fair. But these have not been ordinary times. Until very recently, the news media...

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Our common digital future

Our common digital future

In his 2011 book, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You, Eli Pariser wrote, “the rise of pervasive, embedded filtering is changing the way we experience the internet and ultimately the world.” Far ahead of current growing concerns about fake news,...

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PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance