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Social Media Execs Zuckerberg, Musk Are ‘Dictators’, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Says


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Maria Ressa, the distinguished Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has once again thrust social media into the spotlight with her impassioned speech at the Hay literary festival in Powys. Known for her unwavering advocacy for media freedom, Ressa didn’t mince words as she scrutinized the influential figures of the tech world, likening them to “the largest dictators.” Her pointed remarks targeted the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, whom she dubbed as “tech bros” wielding powers akin to dictatorial rulers, surpassing even the influence of political figures like Rodrigo Duterte.

Central to Ressa’s discourse was the pervasive influence of social media platforms, which she portrayed as potent tools capable of shaping emotions, perceptions, and behaviors on a global scale. In her view, these platforms have become breeding grounds for manipulation, often molding individuals’ worldviews under the guise of free expression.

One of the key issues Ressa highlighted was the detrimental impact of online discourse, which she argued fuels polarization and division within societies. Contrary to the perception of unrestricted freedom, she emphasized the covert influence and manipulation tactics employed within digital spaces, urging for a critical reevaluation of online interactions.

Moreover, Ressa proposed concrete steps to curb the unchecked dominance of tech giants. She advocated for the repeal of section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act in the United States, a provision that shields internet companies from legal repercussions over user-generated content. Additionally, she issued a stark warning to parents, urging them to monitor and limit their children’s exposure to social media, citing its potentially addictive nature.

Beyond individual responsibility, Ressa’s critique extended to the broader societal ramifications of social media and internet usage. She underscored the platforms’ role in stoking polarization, fear, anger, and hatred, both at an individual and collective level, calling for greater awareness and regulation to address these escalating concerns.

Ressa’s poignant remarks have ignited a much-needed dialogue about the ethical complexities of social media and the accountability of tech leaders in shaping public discourse. Her insights have catalyzed reflections on the evolving landscape of digital communication, underscoring the urgent need for proactive measures to mitigate the adverse effects of social media on individuals and society as a whole.

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