When receiving her prize, philippine Nobel laureate and journalist Maria Ressa accused American tech giants of polluting their social media with “toxic sludge”.
Ressa, who received the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in Oslo and Russian journalist Dmitri Muratov, spoke harshly about the role of social media and the companies behind it. “Our greatest need today is to reverse that hatred and that violence, that poisonous sludge that is being fed through our ecosystem of information, fueled by American Internet companies that make more money by spreading that hatred, thereby fueling the worst in us. Ressa said.
Those social media companies have ensured that everyone has “become infected by a virus of lies that pits everyone against each other, evokes fear, fear and hatred and creates a climate for the rise of authoritarian leaders and dictators worldwide”.
“What happens on social media doesn’t stay on social media. Violence online is violence in the real world,” Ressa said.
She received the prize this year together with Dmitri Muratov, editor-in-chief of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Muratov and his newspaper, like Ressa and the news medium Rappler she founded, are critical of the regime in their country.
After receiving his Nobel Prize, Muratov asked for a minute of silence for the journalists killed on the job.
“Let’s stand up and honour our colleagues who gave their lives for their profession with a minute of silence, and let us support those who are being persecuted,” Muratov said. “I want journalists to die of old age.”