Digital advances may harm Democracy unless we act fast

Former secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan on the threat to democracy globally from social media not subject to transparency, accountability, and taxation as conventional media

We have all heard the allegations that Russia covertly used social media to influence electoral outcomes in Ukraine, France, Germany, and, most famously, in the United States. Facebook has estimated that Russian content on its network, including posts and paid ads, reached 126 million Americans, around 40% of the nation’s population....If even the most technologically advanced countries cannot protect the integrity of the electoral process, one can imagine the challenges facing countries with less know-how. In other words, the threat is global. In the absence of facts and data, the mere possibility of manipulation fuels conspiracy theories and undermines faith in democracy and elections at a time when public trust is already low.

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