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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Combatting the global "infodemic" of harmful information online requires structural changes in how states exercise power over tech giants, a new report this month from an international human rights coalition argues.

Driving the news: The report, from the Forum on Information and Democracy's Working Group on Infodemics, recommends a broad new set of regulations to govern global digital platforms.

They include:

  • Transparency requirements with tough penalties for violations;
  • Content moderation rules following human rights principles;
  • A "digital building code" approach to software innovation;
  • And new safeguards for private message groups to limit the virality of misleading content.

Zoom in: The group is chaired by Maria Ressa, an editor who has faced prosecution in the Philippines for taking on the Duterte government, and former European Parliament member Marietje Schaake.

What they're saying: Ressa warned that other countries could easily slip into practices seen in Duterte’s Philippines, where extrajudicial killings have become commonplace, cheered on by online extremists.

  • "Our dystopian present is your future," she said. "It's time to end the whack-a-mole approach of the technology platforms to fix what they have broken."

Why it matters: With the U.S. debate over misinformation stuck in a partisan rut, it's valuable to zoom out on a global view of the problem and consider ideas from a broader set of sources than D.C.'s Republicans and Democrats.

Go deeper: Read the report.

Go deeper

Nov 24, 2020 - Technology

Members of Congress finding agreement on a tech antitrust agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

House Democrats and Republicans are finding common ground on a set of principles for countering tech monopolies that they believe could drive a bipartisan push in the new Congress to update antitrust law.

The big picture: Representatives from both parties are finding it easier to agree on antitrust policy ideas than on proposals about content moderation and liability, where the two parties couldn't be further apart despite agreeing on the need for change.

11 mins ago - World

Pope Francis denounces European governments' migrant response

Pope Francis adresses refugees at the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos on Sunday. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis criticized European countries' response to asylum seekers during his visit to a migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos Sunday.

Why it matters: The pope said "migration is a humanitarian crisis that concerns everyone," but little had changed in the global response to displaced peoples since his first visit to Lesbos five years ago, per a transcript of his remarks. "Human lives, real people, are at stake. ... let us stop this shipwreck of civilization!"

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."