Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling for a “global reckoning with the disinformation.”
During an interview with The Guardian this week, Clinton said the U.S. and the rest of the world need to address the issue of disinformation online and in the media.
“They’ve got to rid themselves of both-sidesism. It is not the same to say something critical of somebody on the other side of the aisle and to instigate an attack on the Capitol and to vote against certifying the election,” Clinton said.
She added, “Those are not comparable, and it goes back to the problem of the press actually coming to grips with how out of bounds and dangerous the new political philosophy on the right happens to be.”
Calling technology platforms “so much more powerful than any organ of the so-called mainstream press,” Clinton explained, “I do think that there has to be not just an American reckoning but a global reckoning with the disinformation, with the monopolistic power and control, with the lack of accountability that the platforms currently enjoy.”
Singling out Facebook, Clinton claimed the platform “has the worst track record for enabling mistruths, misinformation, extremism, conspiracy, for goodness’ sake, even genocide in Myanmar against the Rohingya.”
Clinton continued, “So governments are going to have to decide right now that the platforms have to be held to some kind of standard, and it’s tricky.”
Seemingly pointing to Trump, Clinton told the publication, “Once an American president said that the press was the enemy of the people, that gave permission to all kinds of autocrats to make the same claim.”
She went on, “I don’t know any American president who’s ever thought he got fair press; they always believe that they are not understood, or they’re being held to impossible standards or whatever their complaints might be.”
The former secretary of state argued Trump’s remarks “did do damage inside our own country, because it fed paranoia, conspiracy theories, partisan differences in our own political system that led many people to claim that the press was the enemy of the people, or at least the enemy of what they believed in.”
She accused “certain media” of becoming “mouthpieces for Trump’s view of reality and fed the kind of disbelief and very negative view about anything that ‘the mainstream press’ had to say.”
Facebook’s decision to suspend Trump’s account was upheld by the platform’s independent Oversight Board, as IJR reported.