Quick Facts

  Predicted lost revenue to U.S. cloud computing as a result of revelations of NSA internet surveillance

Predicted lost revenue to U.S. cloud computing as a result of revelations of NSA internet surveillance

  Proportion of the world's internet access that is censored

Proportion of the world's internet access that is censored

  Value of the internet economy in G-20 economies by 2016

Value of the internet economy in G-20 economies by 2016


Center commentary

 
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Business, governments, and users are debating how to capitalize on the promise of the digital economy while keeping the Internet free, open, and secure.

The democratization of the Internet has provided countless benefits for users across the globe, including access to information, economic empowerment, education and communication. However, extremist and false content have exploited the biggest internet platforms, undermining core institutions such as a free and open media and democracy. While there is a tendency for governments to attempt to legislate Internet issues, such intervention creates opportunities for authoritarian regimes to limit freedom of expression and of the press. In its absence, it is incumbent on Internet companies to develop and strengthen their policies and advertising strategies to combat harmful content and to reinforce the essential role of mainstream media organizations. 


 

In July 2018 the Center published its latest report, Combating Russian Disinformation: The Case for Stepping Up the Fight Online, examining Russian disinformation campaigns. The report concludes by recommending a series of steps that industry and governments can take to overcome this and future digital threats to democracy.

We're grateful for the generosity and support of Craig Newmark Philanthropies which was invaluable to the creation of this report.


 
 

 

In November 2017, the Center published Harmful Content: The Role of Internet Platform Companies In Fighting Terrorist Incitement and Politically Motivated Disinformation. The report grows out of discussions of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Human Rights, which Mike co-chairs. It focuses on what Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft need to do to fight terrorist incitement and politically motivated disinformation. We're grateful for the generosity and support of the Newmark Foundation which was invaluable to the creation of this report.


Technology should advance. But timeless values should endure, and digital common sense should prevail.
— Brad Smith, President, Microsoft

Writing and Advocacy