Wednesday 24 January 2018

Power without true responsibility

'What is not so easy to justify is the failure to face up to the dark side of social media.' (Stock photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA)
'What is not so easy to justify is the failure to face up to the dark side of social media.' (Stock photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA)

For some time now, we have been rightly in thrall to the benefits of the internet - worldwide communications and the phenomenon of social media. And successive governments have kow-towed to the international social media facilitators, treating their tax affairs with the lightest of touches. That approach can probably be defended politically on the basis of trying to attract business to this country, thus creating jobs.

What is not so easy to justify is the failure to face up to the dark side of social media. We have seen the rise of fake news and fake political advertising and the effect this can have on the democratic process wherever it exists throughout the world. Social media has been a weapon and propaganda for terrorists, and the weapon of choice for the dangerous invective that emanates from the White House these days.

We have seen too the growth of child abuse through the internet, and its corollary, vigilantism, where potential paedophiles are ensnared.

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