British investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr gave a passionate speech at the TED conference in Vancouver this week.
Carole, you may remember, is the Observer journalist who helped expose Cambridge Analytica’s use of Facebook user data despite the social network’s threat to sue her newspaper if it published the story.
In her speech, she challenges Facebook to acknowledge the extent to which it has become a tool for the spread of misinformation, and calls out Mark Zuckerberg specifically for refusing to testify before parliaments around the world.
“Our democracy is broken, our laws don’t work anymore, and it’s not me saying this, it’s our parliament published a report saying this. This technology that you have invented has been amazing. But now, it’s a crime scene. And you have the evidence. And it is not enough to say that you will do better in the future. Because to have any hope of stopping this from happening again, we have to know the truth.”
It’s a brave and emotional speech. Not only because she calls out Zuckerberg and other technology bosses by name, but also because Facebook is actually a sponsor of the TED conference she was speaking at.
3 years ago, I was utterly unable to speak in public. I took betablockers to speak at my own father’s funeral. And on Monday I did this. Love me, loathe me…whatever. But human to human, please try & recognise how urgent I believe this is by the sheer fucking terror in my voice https://t.co/IcihwemIpU
— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) April 17, 2019
There’s a lot going on in the news today, but you should really make time to watch the speech: “Facebook’s role in Brexit — and the threat to democracy”.
In an unmissable talk, journalist Carole Cadwalladr digs into one of the most perplexing events in recent times: the UK's super-close 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Tracking the result to a barrage of misleading Facebook ads targeted at vulnerable Brexit swing voters -- and linking the same players and tactics to the 2016 US presidential election -- Cadwalladr calls out the "gods of Silicon Valley" for being on the wrong side of history and asks: Are free and fair elections a thing of the past?