The Internet Censors Chortle at Their Success With the EU

The Internet Censors Chortle at Their Success With the EU

We did it!!!!

Hours ago, the EU Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favor of the most ambitious regulation ever drafted to end the era of toxic social media.

We’re still in shock. 

We were up against some of the most powerful corporations in the world. But we were louder.

Donating in the thousands, flooding key decision-makers with messages, delivering powerful solutions in meetings, and publishing groundbreaking investigations showing the harms caused by Big Tech: the Avaaz community has helped shape history this week, together with other awesome groups out there fighting alongside us and brave lawmakers who decided to listen.

We’re not done yet, but if EU lawmakers stand strong in further negotiations, this could be the first wave of a cascade of new laws all over the world that finally put people before platforms and their profits: whenever Facebook, Youtube or TikTok would harm our societies at scale – from making dangerous disinformation go viral to spreading harmful content to kids or misusing our personal data — our democracies would be able to ensure they take responsibility.

Join the celebration by retweeting the Avaaz tweet here or posting on Facebook here

Social media has brought powerful innovation to our societies. But for too long they have been  able to evolve with literally just one goal: maximizing their profit, even if that meant radicalizing our societies, delegitimizing science or a rise in teen depression.

Now, thanks to this regulation which some have called a new constitution for the Internet, we can demand a future where technologies are shaped around common values, and protect our fundamental human rights, instead of exploiting our weaknesses.

Also, with so much disillusionment around politics, this regulation has shown Europe at its best. With almost all the demands from citizens, experts and civic society organizations landing in some way in the text just voted including:
Detoxify the algorithm— make the platforms take responsibility for the harms they cause to our societies, like the viral spread of dangerous disinformation;  Big sanctions — Face fines up to 6% of their global income, yes we’re talking billions of dollars here, if they don’t fix their systems;Open the black box — Allow independent auditors, researchers and civic society to scrutinize their actions and uncover their wrongdoings;Stop surveillance ads — Ban the exploitation of children’s data, and our political beliefs or gender choices, to target us with ads.

Join the celebration by retweeting the Avaaz tweet here or posting on Facebook here

For over four years Avaaz has been on the forefront of the public push to force social media platforms to tackle the harms they create. From the EU, to the US, or Brazil, we have reported on disinformation and its scale, commissioning polls on its harmful effects, evaluating platforms’ efforts to tackle them, and identifying their failures. None of this would have been possible without the Avaaz membership. It was a huge shared effort. But it paid off. And now we’re making history.

With deep excitement and determination,

Luca, Sarah, Christoph, Joana, Nadia, Andy, Rosie, Luana, Camille, Barbara, Sam and the rest of the Avaaz team