The Biden-supported G20 Summit endorsed censorship of “disinformation” last November and now Meta (Facebook) has partnered with a G20 campaign to make that censorship a reality on social media.
“We’re partnering with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for the G20 Stay Safe Online Campaign, in which we’re sharing resources about how to stay safe online,” Meta declared in a Feb. 7 press release. Facebook also announced the “#DigitalSuraksha campaign to educate young people about misinformation and inform them of the resources across our technologies.”
The November 2022 G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration explicitly encouraged more censorship, and now it appears G20 partnered with Meta to ensure that its online censorship vision succeeds. Facebook’s new tools focus specifically on India for now, since India currently holds G20 presidency, but America is also a member of the G20 and Meta, of course, is an American company.
“Meta’s new anti-free speech campaign with the G20 reaches many areas of Indian society, including social media, policing, transportation, and education,” said MRC Vice President for Free Speech Dan Schneider. “Meta plays the same game all the time: implement a bad policy abroad and then bring it home. It will be a dangerous attack on free speech from many directions at once.”
Meta said that its resources in “multiple Indian languages” would help tackle online fraud, provide tips to keep a user safe, give guidelines on reporting harmful content, and more. The last point is an encouragement to flag content for censorship.
The press release becomes more explicit about targeting “misinformation,” however. The new #DigitalSuraksha campaign partners with Delhi Police to offer city users “digital literacy,” including “tackling misinformation,” Facebook explained.
MRC Free Speech America reported in November how the G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration, endorsed by Biden and published on the White House website, promoted the censorship of supposed “disinformation.” Section 24 began, “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the digital ecosystem and digital economy.”
The section then focused on the importance of “trust in the digital economy”, and called for policies “to create an enabling, inclusive, open, fair and non-discriminatory digital economy that fosters the application of new technologies, allows businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive, and protects and empowers consumers.” But the internet must not be too free, the declaration clarified. “We acknowledge the importance to counter disinformation campaigns, cyber threats, online abuse, and ensuring security in connectivity infrastructure,” the declaration states.
Meta also announced a Digital Nagrik Pledge to get a million more Indians (especially educators and students) involved in the company’s initiatives, an anti-child sexual abuse material campaign, a “chat show” called “UnGap,” and “a series of consumer awareness initiatives” on safety resources and tools, including for transportation.
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