Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, compared the freedom to express thoughts freely online to a weapon of war, which needs to be dealt with by the global community to “ensure that these particular weapons of war do not become an established part of warfare.”
She said online freedom of speech is “often” used, “To cause chaos and reduce the ability of others to defend themselves, to disband communities, to collapse the collective strength of countries who work together.”
PM Jacinda Ardern calls internet freedom a “weapon of war” in most recent UN speech. Calls for a new type of internet with “rules and transparency”.
“How do you tackle climate change if people don’t believe it exists”.
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— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2023) September 28, 2022
She said, “As leaders, we are rightly concerned that even those most light-touch approaches to disinformation could be misinterpreted as being hostile to the values of free speech we value so highly. “But while I cannot tell you today what the answer is to this challenge, I can say with complete certainty that we cannot ignore it. To do so poses an equal threat to the norms we all value.”
She went on to say, “After all, how do you successfully end a war if people are led to believe the reason for its existence is not only legal but noble? “How do you tackle climate change if people do not believe it exists?”
She also added, “The weapons may be different but the goals of those who perpetuate them is often the same: To cause chaos and reduce the ability of others to defend themselves, to disband communities, to collapse the collective strength of countries who work together. But we have an opportunity here to ensure that these particular weapons of war do not become an established part of warfare.”