These platforms allow people to access them supposedly for free, but instead of charging them a fee they require people to give up their personal data. This is then analysed to aggregate people into groups, and to make predictions about their interests and characteristics – primarily so they can use these insights to generate advertising revenue. The report found that the scale of harvesting and monetising of personal data by these platforms is incompatible with people’s right to privacy.https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/11/we-called-out-facebook-and-google-but-need-them
Even though the main calls in the report are to governments and how they must regulate the industry, it behoves us all to look at the roles we play.
At Amnesty, we are just as dependent on these platforms as big corporations, political parties, and local businesses in order to reach, engage and grow our audiences. The pervasive power of these platforms is exactly why Amnesty has brought out a report on them.
What are our options?
Since US President Donald Trump weaponised the term “fake news” during the 2016 presidential election campaign, the phrase has gone viral.
Increasingly it is used by politicians around the world to denounce or dismiss news reports that do not fit their version of the truth.
But as news outlets defend their work, false information is saturating the political debate worldwide and undermining an already weak level of trust in the media and institutions.
The term has come to mean anything from a mistake to a parody or a deliberate misinterpretation of facts.
At the same time, misinformation online is increasingly visible in attempts to manipulate elections.