BY GABRIELA DEL POZO, THE SUNDAY TIMES (expository)
As delegates begin their second day of committee, all eyes are on the finish line. However, delegates have found a tackling the weaponisation of social media to be a challenging task. There seems to be an unspoken agreement between all delegates to only focus on how social media is being used by terrorists or violent groups. No one has yet to mention what threats could come with the so-called “hacktivist” or even how governments can worsen hostilities with certain countries just by posting a few inflammatory tweets.
Moments before the committee started, all delegates were conversing with their peers. The committee is clearly divided. There are those who lean towards censorship and those who stand by freedom of speech. While the solutions are still unclear, the objectives of the delegates are not. As the committee started they talked about how important it is for countries to form a partnership with private companies such as Facebook or Twitter to help identifying threats to each country’s national security.
The United Kingdom, France, and Italy felt that for this to happen, new programs needed to be created so that a specialized agency can handle the cooperation with the private companies. Conversely, other delegates like the delegate of Peru felt “that such an investment was useless since they already had agencies that could work with the private companies”. In the end, little progress had been made on this topic.
A longer moderated caucus was proposed to discuss tactics to control social media. This topic has been discussed from several angles so most delegates took the opportunity to expose what they were going to be presenting in their upcoming working papers. The Sunday Times found out that the delegate from the United Kingdom is currently working on a three-dimensional approach to tackle the weaponisation of social media, with help from the delegates of Italy, Brazil and Canada. The delegate of the United Kingdom warned the committee that “they must prevent violent or violence-inciting messages from reaching the masses”.
Taking this into consideration, we can see that there are still miles to go for the delegates of this committee. Hopefully a viable solution will be found as soon as possible.