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World Economic Forum to Censor Online Abuse Sparks Outrage

Wesam Abo Marq Wesam Abo Marq
14th August 2022
World Economic Forum to Censor Online Abuse Sparks Outrage
WEF called for hate speech and misinformation (Getty)

A new World Economic Forum report titled "The solution to online abuse? AI plus human intelligence" has sparked outrage online. The World Economic Forum suggests automating "online abuse" censorship. Users expressed their rage online about the forum's intervention in such issues and the diversion from the forum's primary purpose, which is purely economic.

What Is the World Economic Forum Proposing?

The World Economic Forum is a non-profit organization that works to make the world a better place by bringing together influential figures from business, politics, academia, and other sectors of society to help set priorities for the world, individual regions, and various industries. Governments do have influence over a country's economy, but major banks and corporations run and ultimately support these governments.

The World Economic Forum published a report on August 10, 2022, stating that the world needs an intelligent solution to detect online abuse because conventional methods of combating it are no longer effective.

In order to protect people's feelings, the World Economic Forum called for the use of both human and artificial intelligence systems to censor "hate speech" and "misinformation." It issues a warning about the perils of "the dark world of online harms."

According to the article, scaled detection of online abuse can achieve near-perfect precision "by uniquely combining the power of innovative technology, off-platform intelligence collection, and the prowess of subject-matter experts who understand how threat actors operate."

The World Economic Forum recommends a hybrid AI-human system of "human-curated, multi-language, off-platform intelligence" to get around the drawbacks of traditional detection methods. According to the World Economic Forum, this will allow AI to detect subtle, new online abuses before they spread to major platforms.

A supporting image within the article body

The conclusion of the article suggests that an intelligence-based approach is required rather than relying on AI to identify at scale and humans to examine edge instances. The operation's goal is to use trust and safety teams to stop escalating online risks before they reach users.

How Did Online Users React to the WEF Report? 

Misbar conducted a thorough analysis of user responses to the World Economic Forum proposal and discovered that the majority of users are concerned that such actions might restrict their freedom of speech.

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The World Economic Forum later added a disclaimer at the top of the article stating that "the content of this article is the opinion of the author, not the World Economic Forum," in response to the piece being shared on websites that they claimed, "routinely misrepresent content and spread disinformation."

Many users urged the World Economic Forum to be concerned about matters pertaining to the forum's practices, such as the global economic crisis and cost of living crisis, and to leave online abuse and misinformation to technology experts.

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Others expected such "misinformation" to lead to vehement criticism of the World Economic Forum, which is known for blocking critics on Twitter and securing comments on its posts.

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Misbar’s Sources:

World Economic Forum

Western Standard


World Economic Forum 



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