Twitter co-founder and CEO, Jack Dorsey, made an online appearance yesterday as moderator for a Q&A with exiled whistleblower, Edward Snowden. In it he pitched him questions from the wider Twitterverse and gave Snowden a platform for a strong anti-surveillance message, one that Twitter seems to agree with considering its more outspoken stance on the matter.
Snowden began his address to the public with a statement on the current state of things. He made a stark point early on, by stating how it is hard to argue that democracy exists as it should, if people don’t know the extent of government actions. If people cannot vote for politicians based on knowing what those people have done and will do, he said, how can they effectively choose someone who represents them?
When asked if he felt a collaboration between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin might see him extradited to the U.S. to face, as he called it, a “show trial,” he said he wasn’t too concerned. While Snowden admitted that it could happen, he ultimately felt comfortable that journalists and the public saw him in the right light and he felt happy with decisions he’d made in the past.
— Pardon Snowden (@PardonSnowden) December 13, 2016
Others asked him about the current state of journalism and the rise of fake news. To that, Snowden said that he believed the best tool to combat it was critical thinking.
“The problem with fake news isn’t solved by hoping for a referee. But rather because we as participants, as citizens, as users of these services [need to] help each other,” he said, as transcribed by Vice. “We point out what is fake, we point out what is true — the answer to bad speech is not censorship, the answer is more speech.”
All in all some 250,000 people watched the live interview, which the organisers, @PardonSnowden will no doubt be pleased with. In conjunction with Amnesty International, they hope to have Snowden pardoned by outgoing President Obama before President Elect Trump’s inauguration early next year.
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KitGuru Says: Considering Obama’s pro-surveillance stance he’s taken throughout his presidency, enshrining the powers that the Bush administration pushed so hard for, I don’t see him doing an about face on whistleblowers any time soon.
Image source: Freedom of Press Foundation