tv Studio B Unscripted Maria Ressa Christopher Wylie P2 Al Jazeera January 26, 2022 7:30pm-8:01pm AST
in all the lists already in disadvantage is still quite large. which lane ever unsure in general strengths and sooner. mccarthy says, australia though should be an event that allows the country to reunite a view that supported by an increasing number of people in australia. sarah cloth, al jazeera brisbin, australia ah, this is audra 0. these are the top stories of russia's foreign minister says. appropriate measures will be taken if the u. s. fails to respond to security demands. moscow ones guarantees that ukraine will not join nato and that the military alliance will not expand further into former soviet republics. meanwhile, the ukrainian foreign minister admits the number of russian troops a mast at the border is a direct threat, but says it's insufficient for a full scale attack. russia's been military has been holding military drills to
ensure the army is combat ready dosage. a body has more from moscow. the foreign minister was speaking at the lower house of parliament, known as the do my here on wednesday and t highlighted where things are at. and he said that to the russian government, it will not accept any kind of delays by the government of the united states. in getting a written response from them, they expect to have that response on the security guarantees that the russians wanted from the us about nato. and it's ambitious to expand further. that is something that they cannot accept. the russian foreign minister also said that a kiev is being pushed to provoke a moscow, and that is a cause of concern. the you k prime minister has continued to this cause resists called by m p. 's to the zine borroughs. johnson refuse to comment on an investigation into whether his government held parties during lockdown. findings are expected to be published soon. they are proposed. the saudi coalition fighting
in yemen has launched airstrikes in the capital santa. the targets included who the military sites, as well as a national tv and radio tower that's alto who the rebels who control the capital, far more missiles towards abu dhabi in the united arab emirates on monday, the u. e says it intercepted and destroyed them good. his forces in northern city is say, they regained control of a prison following a week long assault by i sold fighters around 200 inmates and 27 kurdish fighters were killed in idols. attempt to free comrades. the battle forced 45000 people from their homes in the city of her soccer. the save the children, charity said some of the 700 boys detained in the prison were used as human shields . those are the headlines. the news continues here on al jazeera. after studio b, unscripted good by news.
news. news. i. when mark soccer bird essentially said that it is okay for politicians to lot that spells do me. my name is maria rafa and i'm a journalist and author the message that the government is sending is very clear. be silent for your next when i started seeing videos of people so angry with things that were frankly untrue. i realize i was working for something that was evil, and i had been a part of actually creating. i'm christopher wiley. i'm a data scientist, but most people know me as the cambridge analytical whistleblower. i revealed how our data is being manipulated for political gain without our consent. me
the way that social media platforms have been formulated. fancy the devil in your ear. why is it that you're allowed to experiment on societies and when real people get killed? there are no actual consequences. it's like they invited people to their house and they gave everyone guns and said it's a wildlife. well, ah, the i'm sure a lot of people in the audience, you know, heard bits and pieces about what's going on in the philippines. but from your perspective, like what's the big deal, why should we care about not only way you and your organization are experiencing, but what's more broadly happening in the philippines. i think that the, our organization rattler has been fighting impunity on 2 fronts that are elephant to everyone around the world. the 1st is these information operations,
the manipulation on facebook, on social media. because when you say a lie, a 1000000 times, it becomes the fast. and then if you don't have facts, you then can create whatever narrative you want, including journalists are criminals. right? the 2nd is still connected to that, which is the impunity in the drug war. president, detector, our president was elected with the power of social media in 2016 may of 2016. actually this was the beginning of the dominoes tumbling down may of 2016 or before the all right. got cool, but they're all connected now. i think, right. i our drug war, if you look at the numbers, the un, our own commission on human right says in a little less than 3 years. at least 27000 people have died. police are huge numbers in 21 years of ferdinand mark let's you're, you're talking about a death hall of a little over 3200. so,
impunity in the drug war. impunity in information operations. our institutions collapsed within 6 months because we didn't have facts. and journalists like me are under attacked, and it's not just little rattler, which is a start up. although i guess i could go to jail for 80 some odd years because of the cases that have been filed, they are politically motivated. i am not doing anything different than i used to do when i was working 20 years ago. what is different? tac? and i think part of one of the reasons you are fascinating to me is because you came in to this. you looked at the code, you looked at the data, and you later realised its impact on society. i'm waiting for silicon valley to realize that as well. do you think silicon valley which is predominantly run by
white privileged men, a large large number of whom are american and you know, do you think that that plays a role with you? like, like if more people from the philippines or other countries were in leadership roles inside, do you think that that would make a difference? i'd like to say if journalists were the ones making some of the attack decisions, it would be a little bit easier. it would be better so ah, when mark soccer berg essentially said that it is okay for politicians to lie. that spells doom in this tech enabled world. right. that spells the end of democracy. because you cannot tell fact from fiction, the old before you can create a market place, you have to have rules of a marketplace and the rules that we have in social media don't work. you also talked about values. what are the values? what are the values of tech optimization?
monetize ation. thank you. i right. you know, i think actually one of the things by lots of journalists, even celebrated back when tech was cool was you know, the mantra, facebook move fast and break things. and you know, the hubris of that, not really thinking that you know, what you could be doing is breaking democracy and not just in your own country back around the world and even with the evidence there. right? so it's interesting that you bring up the ductile of the current regime in the philippines. i think, you know, me, i'm, or where facebook was actually warned by, you know, journalists, the united nations about what was happening, where, you know, facebook's systems were being deliberately exploited to propagate hate messaging which contributed. and this is not me saying it's not nation saying, contributing to, you know, ethnic violence and ethnic cleansing, you know, i would,
would have thought that would be quite a big deal for any c, e o to sort of be told by when you look at facebook's response about that where well, the world's complicated will try harder and while thousands of people get murdered . do you think that there are parallels between what happened in the m r and what either is happening or could even progress to happen in the philippines? it's in every country right there. nick violence is still continuing in the and mar, the information operations that's led by the military is still continuing. indian mar, on facebook. ah, the guy who led that un, that un fact finding was more suki, there were monies and indonesian who used to had the commission on human rights that report the standing. facebook has its own independent report and they said the same things. i'm shock not seeing your head is moving. and that's part of the reason. so here we go. like, what do we do?
i mean, i'm not completely against facebook, although right now, yeah, i am. i mean we're, you know, we're fact checking part you're against behavior. i'm against impunity. yeah, right. if you look at it, every time facebook tries to do the right thing, the market incentives actually punishes that. you know, i provided a lot of information to american regulators. facebook received the largest fine that a technology company had received in history 5000000000 from the f t c. and 100000000 from the fcc. and the share value went up. we're in a weird situation now where you can be at the helm of the company that has received the largest financial penalty of a company in your industry, in all of history and shareholders. go, great, let's buy more stock because the worst that can happen is that much money when you do something really bad. sure, it's going to take
a day off of this years. profit margin. but hey, how that there. what do you think? you know, can be done or should be done. do you think that regulatory actually can even work if one country has this regulation? another country doesn't? i think some of the states in the u. s. are now talking about data portability. i think that's a potential solution, so if you own your own data, you can take your data out of facebook and put it into another social media platform. do you think that people would actually move or do you think it would start to create potentially a 2 shared system where truth and privacy become luxury goods in a marketplace trusting, interesting, that could be, but i'll tell you the behavior of filipinos given the, the poison that's been injected into facebook, right. if you think of life is poison ah, for the, from the time rapper was set up in 2012 all the way until 2016. facebook was number
one in alexa ranking, right? this is a ranking of all websites. now it's back to like number 7. we know something is wrong, but there is no other option. i don't think data or information are moral, morally wrong or morally good. i think that they're sort of neutral. yeah. you know, i think about it, it kind of like electricity. you can, you know, power a studio. we can sit comfortably in a warm environment with lots of light even though it's night time. yeah. you can also electric, you can kill someone, you know, i remember when my, when i was little, my grandmother would always free car if there is cutlery anywhere near the toaster because you can, you know, die making toast. so yes, electricity is dangerous, but would you want to live with our electricity? yeah, and the way i sort of think about it as well. what do we do about electricity to try to amplify the good things they,
it dies and minimize the bad things that it does. and we have safety standards. we've got building codes, wiring like this part in your book. yeah. imagine is facebook was a building, right? where the building has been designed deliberately to make it really hard to leave the building in the maze and you know, the building powers itself every time you open a door. so there's lots of doors that go nowhere and you can't really leave. and at the front of the building, there are some terms and conditions in a book. you know, 20000 words. you know, a short novella exciting, read outside and then the door size. by the way, you agree that you've read this like walk outside and that you agree to everything . yes, you know, and we wouldn't tolerate that, right? and we also wouldn't say that the onus should be on people to avoid that weird and wonky and perhaps dangerous building. we would be going,
why are these buildings being designed this way? and why aren't there rules to prevent people from designing these buildings in the 1st place? for me, i find so frustrating about silicon valley is that they will continue to win as long as they keep up the narrative that the onus and burden of safety and our democracy is on regular people rather than the people who design system. this is the 1st thing i said, cuz i was like, when i was getting attacked, i was, they kept saying, you know, you're a public figure and you know, it really, we can't do anything about it. then i just thought, you know, hello. i'm protected by the constitution of the journal is you've taken away that protection and why is it the users fault? if you design it this way and, and who gets to let you choose? what is allowable and allowable on this platform. this is the thing that i find,
you know, really scary is that, you know, we, we have kind of relegated our democracy to mark soccer berg. and i find that very terrify or medium long term. and of course my in infested interest is in the short term because i could go to jail if we don't find the right solutions for it. yeah, i mean i, i, unfortunately, i don't, i don't think the solution because we have, it's a, it's an infrastructure. yeah. yeah, yeah, imagine if you had a pharmaceutical company regulated like a tech company where you don't actually have to do any kind of trials, you don't have to prove safety of your system. you can just like experiment. and when something goes wrong, you can say, oh, sorry, like, farm is pharmaceutical business is complicated. you know, biology complicated or an airline going, you know, sorry, are playing crashed, it's hard to make things fly that are like really hygiene, something happens. but when, when you look at like the reaction that facebook,
you know, whether it was in me, i'm or in the philippines in new jersey alongside and she long like the list goes on. the press release is like a pro forma standard. the world is really complicated. we've got it wrong, this time we're going to work to do better. and i question, why is it that you're allowed to experiment on societies and when real people get killed, there are no actual consequences. and you know, i feel safe mostly when i go into a plane or take a drug from the doctor. so, you know, i think that people should feel safe going on online as well. yes. agree. they've gotten away with impunity so far also because old power looked away. they advocated responsibility to the young guys who know what they're doing. do you think that mark sacker berg is in the family show that the new editor, a new publisher, are they not publishing? and are they not allowing it?
it's like they invited people to their house and they gave everyone guns and said it's the wildlife west. so yes, i think that i cancel, you're saying that, do you think the information of the weapon are oh my god, isn't it isn't the weapon is ation of information, isn't that? well, i mean, i think if you look at donald trump, he has a wrote in the american constitution has gotten away with an impeachment. and he is at the same time, you know, putting children in cages at the american border and undermining civic cohesion in the united states. and i look at that, and i just think that there is destruction that is happening and it is the product of information or rather just information. absolutely. and that is dangerous. and so in that sense, i think that information can be a weapon. but at the same time, you know, journalists also use information for good,
the gatekeeper in this public sphere. the world's largest distributor of news is facebook. new to comes in a very close 2nd rate in terms of and, and the designs of both of these platforms are optimized, to manipulate, to sell us and our data at our weakest possible moment to the person or a company that will pay for an intended result. it said, these are platforms now that are designed their behavioral modification systems and we are pub loves dogs going in there. well, i'm not, know, i know perhaps let's open it up to pavlov. dog for some question. a lot of these challenges were confronting um, ah, right now. um, ah, like, for example, epidemics we've had a terrible measles epidemic in the philippines. i'm go current of ours right now,
which has been significantly complicated by misinformation. do you see any hope that those kind of real world costs are gonna start being recognized by even some of the more authoritarian actors? so in the philippines, i'll say yes, the government has now talked about how they're going to run after the, the fake news that's being said about the corona virus. right? but $1010.00, the government's own machinery is the one pumping out news because it is pumping out lies because it, it takes the om attention. it really focuses attention from things going wrong. i guess i'm curious why the west always calls it misinformation. it's disinformation. it is meant to manipulate you, the disinformation networks, go bottom up from each of our countries in the global south and connect to this
kind of nervous system that in my country now is combining russia and china. it is scary as all heck, but this is how information is weaponized for power and who can control this right now? silicon valley that media solution mrs. to christopher. so in 2013 while you still with s. c l group. you had set up a similar company called on us. and according to buzzfeed, you had told an acquaintance of yours that you wanted to build the n s a wet dream . and you also claims that evil pays more. so that's not true. one of the things that i've learned is that you know, when you go up against the company that specializes in this information, it also uses that and creates narratives about people who criticize.
so i don't take your assertion as valid and it's, it simply is, it's not true. i did not set up that company. i do not remember. and i have not seen any actual sort of evidence to, to, to substantiate this, this flipping comment. ok, well it seems to me that you helped create these tools which you admitted to building and, you know, eventually these tools were misappropriated and you know, they, we used to hijack collections and undermine democracy. so do you understand why some people would question your motives today? of course i understand, and i think it's healthy for people to, you know, have skepticism of anybody who talks about anything. you know, i understand that i was involved in creating a company that, you know, ended up doing some really terrible things. contest in the united states,
but in many countries around the world. when i joined fcl, i was, you know, 2324. i recognized that i did not know enough about what i was doing and you know, i've learned a lot in that process and that if there were regulations in place at the time when i 1st started, that for example, required me as a data scientist or as an engineer to make a proper assessment of risk where there would be consequences if that did not happen. not to say that cambridge analytics or other companies like it would never have existed or not exist in the future, but it would have made a lot of people think about what they're doing. considering the us judicial and the political situation in the philippines. what advice would you give to a potential filipino whistleblower?
chris 1st. oh, bear. i will say one thing. lawyers, lawyers, lawyers talk to lawyers it's, it's, it's, the lawyers have saved my life on so many occasions. that's, that's all i would say. whistleblowers in the philippines have a horrendous track record. and part of the reason we have so few. and the reason why fear now works is precisely because it is the whistleblower who suffers versus who ever they blow the whistle against. i had submitted myself to the men and women inside the judiciary, who i hope will abide by the spirit of the constitution. but i am very cognizant that they have families to protect. they have reputations and ambitions, and this makes our justice system extremely flawed. but i submit myself to
that. this is the christopher. you've recently been banned from facebook and there's been a study to show that when people deactivate that facebook accounts, they generally become happier. so i was wondering if this affected me this whole say i'm banned on facebook, and i'm also banned on instagram because it's owned by faith. so my life no longer has well curated pictures of us, how to test, and 1st my happier with her using facebook. not really, and here's why it's really hard to stay in touch with people without using the 2 main systems that everybody else used. facebook didn't just sort of deactivate my account in sort of a normal way. i got like,
completely erased off of facebook like i don't exist anymore. and my photos, you know, my memories, my friend groups all went away. and when you look at other examples in history of where the sort of collective memory of a person is or a race you had that in, for example, the soviet union. where if you spoke out against the regime, you would be disappeared. not just physically, but like literally your photos would go away, mentions of you would go away and it felt really weird to look at, you know, 10 years of my life disappearing. they didn't just banned me, be deleted me. and it felt really weird to be deleted. i am more broadly happier. i feel lighter because i sort of gone through this somewhat unscathed in that sense. but i do miss being able to be in touch with people. i
think for me, my final thought is, di we've got a really serious problem. it to me, it feels like the kinds of existential crisis that we have in some ways, like climate change. you don't notice the incremental changes in democracy until you no longer have it. but i hope that people take that to heart and you know that if, if you think that that's worrying, then you know, make your voice heard and be angry about it. the 2 biggest battles and you mentioned them, both is climate because we will die and you can't fix climate if you don't have the information the battle for our world. the battle for truth, these are the 2 battles that is pivotal. this year is pivotal. if we don't do the right things, we will lose both. it is death by
a 1000 cuts, and we must do more. i don't think it's being a debbie down or because obviously we have hope. we must have hope because we have to fix it. i think human values haven't changed. we've always had the devil in the angel on our shoulders, right. but the way this social media platforms have been formulated. fans the devil in your ear and encourages us against them, splintering our public sphere part so each of us can take a role. we get rid of the lies in our immediate areas of influence. we look for what binds us together rather than what pulls us apart. we act a little bit like outsiders show that we can understand and analyze a little bit better. and i think for the journalists in the audience,
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