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The internet and social media were once hailed for creating new opportunities to spread democracy and freedom. And Twitter, Facebook and other social media did indeed play a key role in popular uprisings in Iran in 2009, in the Arab world in 2011 and in Ukraine in 2013-2014 . authoritarian regimes soon began cracking down on internet freedom.The internet and social media provide another battlefield, it seems, for the surreptitious manipulation of public opinion.Social media's ideological "echo chambers" exacerbate people's natural biases and diminish opportunities for healthy debate.But social media are hardly the first communication revolution to challenge political systems. In the U.S., a group of senators has introduced the "Honest Ads Act," which would extend the rules that apply to print, radio and television to social media. Under the auspices of the Kofi Annan Foundation, I will now convene a new commission – this time, with the masterminds of social media and information technology, as well as political leaders – to help us address these crucial new issues.Technology does not stand still, and nor should democracy.
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