“The importance of information for peace and the role of information companies”
● The existence of a healthy information space is fundamental for the prevention of conflicts of all types.
● A healthy information space is one in which citizens are able to make calm, balanced, and appropriate judgments about their environment because (1) correct facts and (2) views based on unbiased or diverse perspectives are (3) freely accessible (= right to know), and (4) citizens are free to express their opinions (= freedom of expression).
● However, in contemporary society, even without the growing social divisions in various countries and the events related to the conflict in Ukraine, we would still be in a situation where the healthy information space is in progressive decline due to restrictions on freedom of expression and the right to know or disinformation by authoritarian states, echo chambers and fake news arising from excessive reliance on giant IT platforms, and the decline of the mass media’s business model, which has led to the function of journalism becoming weaker. The security of cyberspace, the physical infrastructure through which information is distributed, has also been eroded, increasing the risk of conflict in various ways.
●Enterprises involved in information, be they IT platforms, mass media companies, or telecommunications providers, are responsible, in their respective capacities, for maintaining and improving the health of the information space. In this session, the roles that the various types of information company should play and the ways that they can contribute to peace will be discussed from this perspective.