According to David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, the ‘worst perpetrator’ of misinformation on the Internet is US President Donald Trump.
In an interview published on Wednesday, Kaye told Digital Rights Monitor website, “Governments are real offenders when it comes to disinformation… In my own country, the US, the worst perpetrator of false information is the President of the US,” adding that the problem of fake news emanating from governments should be covered by journalists.
“Platforms such as Google, Facebook or Twitter can help the broader fight against disinformation – bots, foreign interference… – but should not remove content,” he said.
“The platforms, I think, can do things that are more technical as long as they are not evaluating content. There are things they can do. They can’t just zap it and say, ‘This is fake news, it’s off the platform’.”
According to Kaye, platforms should focus on reducing spam and bot accounts rather than on policing content. And even bots are “tricky because there are good bots and bad bots.”
Trump has often called the US media as the “enemy of the people” and frequently criticizes several outlets for spreading “fake news”.
David Kaye is the current United Nations special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression since August 2014.
Kaye is a clinical professor of law at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law and teaches International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law and directs a clinic in International Justice.
(With agency inputs)