While addressing the UN General Assembly, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned about “disinformation,” going as far as arguing it should be regulated like guns, bombs, and nuclear weapons.
Ardern said that “a lie online or from a podium” might not kill people like previous weapons but eventually it could be as dangerous.
“But what if that lie, told repeatedly, and across many platforms, prompts, inspires, or motivates others to take up arms. To threaten the security of others. To turn a blind eye to atrocities, or worse, to become complicit in them. What then?” she asked.
“This is no longer a hypothetical. The weapons of war have changed, they are upon us and require the same level of action and activity that we put into the weapons of old.
“We recognized the threats that the old weapons created. We came together as communities to minimize these threats. We created international rules, norms and expectations. We never saw that as a threat to our individual liberties – rather, it was a preservation of them. The same must apply now as we take on these new challenges.”