The World Economic Forum has launched a global coalition committed to improving the safety of digital spaces.
The Global Coalition for Digital Safety will accelerate public-private cooperation to tackle harmful content online. It will serve to exchange best practices for new online safety regulation, take coordinated action to reduce the risk of online harms, and drive collaboration on programs to enhance digital media literacy. The full list of members can be found here.
With the growing challenge of health misinformation, violent extremist and terrorist content, and the exploitation and abuse of children online, there is an urgent need for more deliberate global coordination to improve digital safety.
“The Forum recognizes this problem is only growing in size and complexity. This Coalition serves to bring together leaders in the public and private sector to cooperate globally on solutions that will ultimately reduce the consumption and distribution of material that is causing harm – especially to vulnerable members of our population,” said Cathy Li, Head of Media, Entertainment, and Sport Industries at the Forum.
The announcement follows a new report by the Forum, which highlights the need to implement a user-centric framework for digital safety to minimize exposure to risks encountered on the internet.
In industries such as transportation or energy, adherence to clear safety standards is required, the report notes, adding that digital platforms that enable social communications should also have baseline safety thresholds, industry‑wide standards and protocols, which do not currently exist.
A framework proposed in the new report would serve to better protect users online. It is centered on industry standards, which establish a safety baseline, together with regulation to govern enforcement. Coalition members are committed to charting a course that will resolve key tensions in privacy, safety, expression, business incentives and corporate versus public responsibility to effectively minimize the risk of harms encountered online.