Diana Riba tackling hate speech and disinformation
EFA MEP Diana Riba I Giner intervened in the plenary debate about “The fight against hate speech and disinformation: responsibility of social platforms within the Digital Services Act”.
MEP Riba highlighted the alarming prevalence of hate speech and disinformation on online platforms, calling attention to the urgent need to enforce regulatory measures. The speech emphasized the critical role that social platforms play in disseminating information, with 39% of young people relying on these platforms for their news.
Riba drew attention to the concerning spread of false information, using examples like the misleading assertion that solar panels are a ticking time bomb set to explode as waste in the coming years. Such misinformation misguides the public and poses significant risks to societal understanding and cohesion.
One particularly disturbing example cited by the Catalan MEP involved advice on approaching women, suggesting that belittling them is more effective than offering compliments. This gender-based hate speech perpetuates harmful stereotypes and contributes to an environment that undermines the value and dignity of individuals.
“And that is precisely the problem: misogyny, historical and climate denialism and xenophobia find fertile territory on certain platforms.
The digital space cannot be outside the democratic rules we set for any other space of coexistence. “ she said.
The Digital Services Act (DSA) was put forward as a crucial instrument in the fight against online misinformation and hate speech.The DSA aims to establish a framework that holds online platforms accountable for the content shared on their platforms, ensuring that they adhere to democratic principles and ethical standards.
As misinformation continues to spread like wildfire, MEP Riba emphasized that every instance represents a setback in the battle for democracy. The DSA, if implemented with determination and resolve, has the potential to curb the toxic spread of hate speech, misogyny, historical denialism, climate denialism, and xenophobia on social platforms.
“We ask the Commission for the courage to effectively enforce instruments such as the DSA. With every fake news that spreads, we are losing a battle for democracy.” She concluded
Diana Riba EFA MEP, called for collaboration in the fight against hate speech and disinformation as it is collective responsibility, with social platforms playing a pivotal role.The time for action is now, and the Commission must demonstrate the courage to uphold the principles of the DSA and protect the integrity of our digital public spaces.