25 January 2019

Jan 25, 2019 – Davos WEF 2019 CER side event

The CER is represented on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos (January 2019)
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt on a panel with Mrs. Dana Humaid Al Marzouqi – director in the Vice Prime Minister’s office in the UAE
Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat – Former US Secretary of State and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury
Mrs. Dana Humaid, Director – Project Management Office, Deputy Prime Minister´s Office in the UAE
Dr. Herbert Winter – President of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities, Vice President World Jewish Congress, Vice President European Jewish Congress, Attorney at law
Dr. Yevgenya Albats – publisher and Journalist

The internet is an important part of life and is connecting the world. But on the other hand, we stand at a crossroads today: The internet, media and our digital communication in many ways, we take for granted, is under threat. Apart from an imminent danger caused by cyber-attacks the internet is threatened by its content and the services it provides. Especially the rise of cyber hate and online extremism clearly illustrates that it also provides new destructive opportunities for some of the world’s most negative phenomena such as antisemitism which has found new life online. Our governments and societies cannot tolerate much longer the torrents of hate coming over the internet from protagonists protected by anonymity which is now proving problematic.

Internet providers including social media should have terms of service which prohibit the posting or marketing of anti-Semitic material. With online antisemitism fuelling violent extremism, we must continue to combat the role of the internet in radicalization and extremism.

Too long we are now discussing who is responsible for what happens online. Today we need a common understanding that all the key players have to contribute to assume
responsibility: Citizens offer the content and creativity; the internet companies provide the platforms, and government brings the capacity to set standards which protect both and allow them to thrive.

It is fact that internet platforms and information providers such as Facebook, Twitter or Amazon are technology companies whose business is transporting information between users and across networks or selling products. This means that we must think of their responsibilities not in terms of freedom of speech, business ethics and its limits, but in terms of establishing the necessary rules and measures to combat these digital challenges.

Our aim is to bring together international leaders and experts to discuss the nature, motivations and results of cyber hate, online-antisemitism, extremism and possible countermeasures how internet providers and platforms can use their technology and governance to prevent this hatred from spreading.