The Modern Dilemma - the Fight Against Disinformation Through Regulation VS Freedom of Speech
In parallel with the unprecedented growth of the role of the Internet in the modern world, which creates enormous flows of information, the scope of disinformation, the spread of false news, and the dangers arising from it are becoming more and more tangible. One of the main challenges facing democracies is ensuring an environment free from false or misleading information and not undermining such a vital right as freedom of speech and expression.
A virtually universal agreement has indeed been reached on the need to combat falsity, but versatile and effective ways to solve the problem have not yet been identified. The difficulties are caused by the apparent dangers of unjustified restriction of freedom of speech and the possible harmful effect of strict legal regulation. It should be noted that one of the root causes of the problem is the specifics of the fake story itself, as it is challenging to precisely determine what kind of information might be considered as fake news, who has a monopoly on the truth, or who should decide the fate of the specific story. Is it possible to find an alternative that, on the one hand, avoids, or at least reduces, the spread of false news aimed at discrediting democratic institutions and, on the other hand, ensures that the process is conducted in a way that does not harm freedom of expression?
The present paper aims to present the complex dilemma facing the modern world: on the one hand, the damage caused by fake news, and on the other hand, the threats to freedom of speech in the process of eliminating this damage. In the last part of the paper, the challenges of Georgia in this regard are discussed.
Note: The full document is available only in Georgian.
photo credit: Adam Maida / The Economist