Former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves is warning about the twin dangers of misusing social media and fake news. In a Digital Trends interview, President Ilves discussed how “social media creates a news outlet without oversight,” allowing data and information to be manipulated for malicious use. This is especially apt after the recent news on Cambridge Analytica, which revealed that the political consulting firm illegally harvested Facebook data to influence and manipulate the 2016 U.S. Elections and the Brexit campaign. He also warned of the continuing influence of bots on platforms like Twitter, which can autonomously share misinformation through social media.
Online data and privacy is something President Ilves can certainly speak to. During his tenure, Estonia saw a program of extensive digitization, earning it the nickname “The E-Republic.” For his dedication to online ethics, digital responsibility, and cybersecurity, President Ilves was named a BGF World Leader in Cybersecurity on December 12, 2017.