Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize 2021, Maria Ressa has become an international symbol of hope and resilience due to her tireless fight for freedom of speech. With her investigative journalism platform Rappler.com, Ressa continues to report critically about the Philippine government of President Duterte, even though she has been repeatedly threatened with jail.
Her DLD All Stars is a passionate plea for technology companies to accept more responsibility for information shared on their platforms – and for all of us to use these services more carefully.
“What the world needs today is to recognize that the technology that we had hoped would be a force for good has, in the past few years, actually exploded what is like an atom bomb in our information ecosystem”, Ressa says. “Our technology, social media platforms in particular, at this point in time has become a behavior modification system.”
The system has broken facts, divided people and radicalized society, Ressa argues. “Research shows that lies laced with anger and hate spread faster and further than facts.”
She demands more accountability from platform owners but also better governance that strengthens truthful reporting. “If legislation prevents the virus of lies from entering the ecosystem we can begin to rehabilitate, and then journalists can continue a fact-based, evidence-based shared reality”, Ressa says.