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  • Marijan Hassan - Tech Journalist

UN chief calls for action against rising cases of toxic content on social media

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a stark rebuke to technology companies, urging them to cease profiting from the dissemination of harmful content that fuels division and hatred. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Guterres highlighted the alarming rise of antisemitism, racism, and anti-Muslim bigotry facilitated by social media platforms.

"Tech companies should assume their responsibilities and stop profiting from the amplification of toxic content of all kinds," Guterres said. "We are witnessing an intolerable explosion of anti-Semitism and other forms of religious and racial hatred,."

Emphasizing the urgent need for accountability, Guterres called on tech giants to prioritize their ethical responsibilities over financial gains. He underscored the detrimental impact of divisive narratives proliferating online, warning that such rhetoric undermines societal cohesion and poses a threat to democratic principles.

"Divided societies are weak societies where extremist narratives can take hold and tensions quickly escalate into violence, undermining democratic values," he said.

Guterres's remarks reflect ongoing concerns regarding the unchecked power of social media companies and the need for regulatory measures to ensure transparency and accountability in content moderation practices.

As instances of hate speech and extremist ideologies continue to spread unabated, Guterres reiterated the imperative of collective action to curb the dissemination of toxic content.

In response, social media companies have asserted their efforts to combat harmful content, particularly in light of recent conflicts such as the Israel-Hamas confrontation. 


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