Social media bosses such as Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are “the greatest dictators.” This was stated by Maria Ressa, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 for her efforts to protect freedom of expression. This was reported by The Guardian.

The American-Philippine journalist is known, among other things, for exposing abuse of power, violence, and growing authoritarianism in her native Philippines.

She is also known for her criticism of former President Rodrigo Duterte. For this reason, the international community considered her prosecution to be politically motivated.

Meanwhile, Maria Ressa said that Rodrigo Duterte “is a much lesser dictator compared to Mark Zuckerberg, and now let me add Elon Musk.”

At the Hay Festival literary event in Wales, she emphasized that Zuckerberg and Musk “proven that we all, regardless of culture, language, or geography, have far more in common than we have differences because we’re all being manipulated the same way”.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner explained that social media platforms have the ability to “change the way we feel.” This, in turn, “changes the way we see the world and the way we act.”

According to her, the way tech companies “inciting polarisation, inciting fear and anger and hatred” changes us “at a personal level, a societal level”.

She suggested two ways to reduce the control of technology companies over people. First, the United States should get rid of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). This article protects Internet companies from lawsuits for content posted by their users.

“And the other one is, if you have kids, don’t let them on [social media] until they’re old enough,” the journalist advised.

Although she calls the attempts to ban Chinese TikTok in the United States and Italy “great”, Maria Ressa believes that it is not only this platform that needs to be addressed, but all social media and the Internet in general.