A powerful United Nations agency has unveiled a plan to regulate social media and online communication while clamping down on what it describes as “false information” and “conspiracy theories,” sparking alarm among free-speech advocates and top U.S. lawmakers.
The approach includes the imposition of global policies, through institutions such as governments and businesses, that seek to stop the spread of various forms of speech while promoting objectives such as “cultural diversity” and “gender equality.”
In particular, the U.N. agency aims to create an “Internet of Trust” through a focus on what it calls “misinformation,” “disinformation,” “hate speech,” and “conspiracy theories.”
Examples of expression flagged to be stopped or restricted include concerns about elections, public health measures, and advocacy that could constitute “incitement to discrimination.”
Critics have warned that allegations of “disinformation” and “conspiracy theories” have increasingly been used by powerful forces in government and Big Tech to silence true information and even core political speech.
Just this month, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee released a report blasting the “pseudoscience of disinformation.”
Among other concerns, the committee found that this “pseudoscience” has been “weaponized” by what lawmakers refer to as the “Censorship Industrial Complex,” the goal of which is to silence constitutionally protected political speech, mostly by conservatives.
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