The World Economic Forum logo inside the Congress Center ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024. The annual Davos gathering of political leaders, top executives and celebrities runs from January 15 to 19. Photographer: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Most observers in Davos24 agree that one of the most interesting topics of discussion will be ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’ on social media. The WEF placed this on the agenda to try and get to grips with the worldwide phenomenon of rumour mongering on Facebook and  X, as it manifested itself during the US presidential elections of 2016 and since, as well as the daily appearance of fabrications on YouTube. One wonders if Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg will be talking about self-imposed censorship and editorial control and whether the flood of nonsense videos can be stopped? Incidentally, Musk wasn’t even invited to Davos this year.

So, in a year in which mass emotions will be stirred and shaken in major elections in the US, India and South Africa, the influence of the social media will be severely tested. The matter of responsible use of social media platforms and just whose baby that is going to be, will undoubtedly be a majore talking point at Davos24. Especially the free-speech fanatics in the developed countries are not going to be happy with any infringements on their right to say what they want. Perhaps they should be reminded that in some countries the social media have been banned, exactly because of irresponsible use.

God forbid, we hear them say. Well, let’s see whether the human race can control itself.

In tomorrow’s newsletter, there will be some astounding news about African demographics revealed at Davos24 today.