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We also need a United Nations COP for digital

by admin

We haven’t stopped using Facebook because former executive Frances Haugen has released thousands of documents that prove Mark Zuckerberg’s social media has fostered (or encouraged?) Disinformation and hatred. And our children have not abandoned Instagram because it has been found that especially among adolescents, perhaps it causes depression. And we do nothing to stop the Telegram channels where millions of people exchange child pornography material.

In short, it will not be another alarm, another complaint, another discovery to change things. We are on social media and we use messaging services – despite everything – because they are useful, indeed indispensable. And the same happens with the rest of the network: a well-documented investigation has just come out on how Amazon has mishandled its customer data for many years: do you think it will affect Black Friday sales? Zero.

And the explanations – repeated – of how Chrome, Google’s browser is a disaster from the point of view of privacy, have perhaps prevented it from becoming the absolute first in the world? Yet we shouldn’t stop pretending to have a better, safer, and more respectful digital world. And not a question that can be delegated to a single user, or to a single country (as Ethan Zuckerman explained to Jaime D’Alessandro).

The digital issue is like the climate issue: a planetary issue. We talk about how people get information, communicate, interact, buy, have fun and get mobilized. We are talking about the real life of now five billion inhabitants of the planet. And just as for the climate it was necessary to create an annual moment to identify common objectives and actions, the same I believe must apply to digital. I make mine Ernesto Belisario’s proposal of a United Nations “COP” to discuss every year what digital world we want. Of rules and values.

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