Delegates Come and Go but the Weaponisation of Social Media Stays

GABRIELA DEL POZO, THE SUNDAY TIMES (Expository)

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Delegates are tense, to say the least. The topic in the agenda has not yet been set, and delegates are excited for the chance to speak and convince those who have not yet made up their mind. The delegates are currently deciding between Topic A (offshore bases) and Topic B (the weaponization of social media). Countries like Cyprus, Ukraine, Germany, amongst others, want to discuss offshore bases. They said that this has been a problem that has been going on for a long time and still no viable solution has been found. They urged other delegates to consider recent protests that have happened with the purpose of expelling foreign soldiers from their territory.

Meanwhile, countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Paraguay are decided on discussing the weaponisation of social media. They consider that the internet is currently not regulated by the international community. Furthermore, they think that with the threat of terrorist groups like ISIS, there is a need to research how terrorist groups use social media for recruitment and organizing. Their argument is simple: control social media and ISIS will fall. The representative of the United Kingdom even said that delegates need to tell the difference between what is important and what is urgent.

After more than an hour and a half elapsed from the start of this committee, delegates narrowly chose to debate Topic B. Delegates have already showed that this topic is quite controversial. Delegates like Mexico, Turkey, and New Zealand feel like before discussing at length the implications social media could have, they first need to define what social media is and what’s exact reach could mean when it is weaponised.

So far, it is clear that most delegates notice the importance of this topic and they are agreeing in how to start discussing this topic. The delegate of Brazil took a more daring approach by saying that censorship is needed in order to stop the weaponization of social media; the delegate from The Republic of Korea agreed with these tactics. However, they soon found some opposition. The delegate of Senegal urged the people to take a humanitarian side and think of the people who have died from terrorist attacks, he mentioned how countries must work together to find a solution.

This may be turning into a very controversial committee. However, there is one element of common ground: this topic could either improve or worsen the current situation of the use of social media.

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