Ian Bremmer talks to embattled Filipina journalist Maria Ressa, CEO of the online news agency Rappler. Ressa and her team have been involved in a years-long legal battle that challenges press freedoms and free speech in the Philippines, as President Rodrigo Duterte continues to assert authoritarian control in his nation. In the conversation Ressa details the ongoing court battles that have her facing up to 100 years in prison if convicted. She also discusses Duterte's militaristic approach to COVID-19 response, and then issues strong warnings about social media's role in promulgating hate speech globally.
Facebook allows "lies laced with anger and hate" to spread faster than facts, says journalist Maria Ressa
In a new interview with Ian Bremmer for GZERO World, embattled Filipina journalist and CEO Maria Ressa issues strong warnings about social media companies, and Facebook in particular, for their inability or unwillingness to control hate speech online. Ressa, who runs the online news site Rappler, has been involved in a prolonged legal battle in the Philippines that threatens press freedom and free speech in that nation.
The fight has been fueled, she says, by a weaponization of social media."Facebook and other social media platforms allow lies laced with anger and hate to spread faster and further than facts, which are really boring," she says.
The conversation, part of the latest episode of GZERO World, also focuses on her ongoing case and how, she says, President Rodrigo Duterte has used the COVID-19 pandemic to further his authoritarian agenda in the Philippines. The episode begins airing nationally on US public television Friday, July 17. Check local listings.
Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, discusses technology industry news today:
Do some of the Facebook's best features, like the newsfeed algorithm or groups, make removing hate speech from the platform impossible?
No, they do not. But what they do do is make it a lot easier for hate speech to spread. A fundamental problem with Facebook are the incentives in the newsfeed algorithm and the structure of groups make it harder for Facebook to remove hate speech.
In general, have tech companies become more or less wary of the Trump administration in recent months?
Vastly less wary. I think that's partly because they think Trump might lose, so they're less worried about retaliation. Also their employees are very mad.
Do you really believe that a meltdown-proof nuclear reactor is possible?
No, but I am excited about the future of small nuclear reactors that have anti-meltdown technology built into each little grain of uranium.
When are you joining Parler?
Parler is the free speech, social media alternative. And I am already on it. I joined it a few days ago.