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Nobel Peace Prize laureate calls for action to curb disinformation

Journalist, CEO and Nobel laureate Maria Ressa has told a United Nations conference urgent steps must be taken to reduce disinformation.

Speaking at a high-level session of the UN Internet Governance Forum moderated by the ABU’s Director of News, Deborah Steele, Ms Ressa said lies spread faster than facts. “If more lies spread than facts, you don’t have facts, you can’t have truth, you can’t have trust.”

She said the problem was undermining the integrity of elections, and was exacerbated by the speed of developments in generative AI and other technologies.

Ms Ressa criticised social media platforms for responding with ‘the three D’s: deny, deflect and delay’.

The other panellists were the European Commission vice president for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova, Randi Michel from the White House National Security Council, Professor Tatsuhiko Yamamoto from Keio University Law School and Nic Suzor from the Meta Oversight Board.

The IGF is convened annually by the UN Secretary-General and was hosted by the Government of Japan this year in Kyoto. More than 8,000 participants from 170 countries took part.