Social media eating away at society, fake news going unchecked: European Commission

Advocating for greater regulations to make big technology firms more responsible, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen Tuesday said the social media was eating away at society and promulgation of fake news was going unchecked.

In a special address at the World Economic Forum’s online Davos Agenda Summit, she also said, “Today, we are worrying about whether democracy itself may have been permanently damaged in the last four years.”

In a candid speech, Von der Leyen criticized the promulgation of fake news on social media, while calling on ‘Big Tech’ to take more responsibility in determining the quality of information that consumers receive. She also talked about scientific evidence that shows clear linkages between biodiversity loss and global pandemics, and urged global leaders to act on climate change.

“We must learn from this crisis. We have to change the way we live and do business to be able to keep what we value and hold dear,” she added.

On the new leadership in the US, von der Leyen said, “I am delighted the US has now rejoined the Paris Agreement.”

She said social media is eating away at society and advocated for greater regulation when it comes to the world’s largest technology companies.

She also said there is an urgent global need to vaccinate against COVID19 and said it is important to ensure that the vaccines reach all countries around the world.

Responding to a question from WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab about how the European Commission plans to work with private sector stakeholders to transition towards sustainable business action, she said innovation is important when it comes to sustainable green production in circular economies.

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