Platforms like Twitter and Facebook have faced a barrage of criticism for failing to apply standards to manage hate speech, harassment and bullying. This week Facebook deactivated the pages of the far-right Britain First group for inciting animosity and hatred against minority groups.
As China ramps up its own Social Credit System whereby people’s behaviour on-line counts towards a government monitored ‘citizen score’, a valid question is just how far digital technology can be used to monitor individual speech, to promote social cohesion, and to pursue a law and order agenda. China surveillance may expand to include the use of facial recognition technology embedded in standard issue police sunglasses.
As data acquisition, speech monitoring, and surveillance are expanded not just by governments globally, but also by corporations around world, the question arises: Are we okay with this new world of law and order?
Image: Pixabay / CC0-1.0 – Graffiti of censored boy holding phone and camera watching him
This story is taken from the 16 March 2018 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.