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Vint Cerf: It's On All of ­S to Fight Online Abuse, Fake News


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Google chief Internet evangelist (and former ACM president) Vint Cerf.

Google chief Internet evangelist Vint Cerf, speaking at the SXSW Conference and Festivals, said, ""Our technology has outraced our intuition about its social consequences."

Credit: Diego Donamaria, Getty Images

Technology has advanced more quickly than social norms can keep pace, says the guy who pretty much invented one of the most widely used technologies of today.

That would be the internet, and the man considered the father of the internet on Sunday said that the burden is on us to catch up and to curb the misinformation and abuse running rampant online.

"This is a sociological problem in large measure," said Vint Cerf, speaking at the SXSW Conference and Festivals. "Our technology has outraced our intuition about its social consequences."

His comments came just hours after Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, published an open letter detailing his worries about the web, including problems like "fake news." Though harassment and fake news have been problems since the internet's early days, those problems have risen to prominence with the sprawling popularity of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and with the bitterness that flavored the US presidential election campaigns last year.

Cerf, who works at Google as its chief internet evangelist, likened social pressure against bad online behavior to the force of gravity.

"One solution is to say, 'Don't do that, it's wrong, it morally wrong,' which sounds weak," he said. "Gravity is the weakest force ... but when you get big mass, it's powerful."

 

From Cnet
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