IGF 2022 Day 2 NRIs Looking into practices how the Internet impacts and shapes democracy

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> MODERATOR: Good Morning -- or good morning.  Good afternoon!  Can I just check everyone's here for the same session?

>> Yes.

>> The session on democracy.  Yes.

>> Yes.

>> MODERATOR: It's just you might be here for some other session, in which case you might want to go somewhere else.  Everyone is very welcome.  We will start in a couple of minutes.  We will give people a couple of minutes.

Could I have any of the onsite panelists, if they could come to the front so we can see everyone.  And we have panelists online as well.

>> SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET: Yes, there are some panelists online.  I'm speaking from (?).  Hello, Nigel.

>> MODERATOR: You're very welcome, sir.  Good to see you.  We should have a couple of onsite panelists as well, so let's give them a couple of minutes.


>> MODERATOR: All right.  Let's -- sorry.  If I may, perhaps we could start.  So, good afternoon to everyone.  Thank you for joining us online.

I am Nigel Hickson.  I come from the UK.  And I have been asked to moderate this session, which is a great honour.  It's part of the national and regional initiative sessions.  You know there's a number of NRI sessions which have been put on this IGF.  And everyone is very welcome for this important session.

The important people in the IGF Secretariat here to help me are in other meetings, so I am flying blind a bit.  But then, you know, that's life.  We are supposed to have a couple of onsite panelists as well but they are not here yet.  I and do hope, and I know from the screen that we have got some of the panelists online as well.

So -- and hopefully everyone has gotten the agenda in front of them.  It's on the link to the session.  And so you will know -- vaguely what this session is about.

We are looking into practices, how the internet impacts and shapes democracy.

So, this is a fundamental topic for many of us, whether we are governments, whether we are civil society, whether we are the Technical Community or whatever business.  Many of us are deeply concerned about the impact of the internet on democracy, how it's enhanced democracy, how it has some problems in terms of some of the democratic institutions.  So, I think this is a great topic.

So, I am not going to spend too long with introductions.  There are some questions that we are going to ask the panelists to address.  We are going to ask them to address both the, if you like, the advantages that the internet has brought to democracy and, perhaps, some of the less advantages side effects.  And then we are going to ask them for particular examples looking forward, how the internet can shape democracy in the future for the benefit of all.

So, let's start.  And this is like a -- you know, a bit of like a jamboree.  I go through a list, pretend I'm the teacher at school.  And I'm going to go through the class list.  And this time it's the panelists to see if they are online.

So, let's go to first Jose Ann, are you online?  It's a good start, isn't it?  So, people are not here in the class, don't get a star for attendance.

Can we go to Ghana.  Wisdom, you must be here SPEAKER yes, I am here.

>> MODERATOR: You should come to the front because you're a star.  Wisdom.  It's a great pleasure to be able to introduce you.

>> WISDOM DONKOR: Thank you, senior.  Yes, thank you so much.  And Nigel.  My name is Wisdom Donkor.  And I represent Ghana IGF and also as a Secretariat for internet Research Foundation, and also UNCA task force for this member here at IGF.

Looking at internet and democracy in Africa, I think we have come a long way.  Looking at the '90s and looking at the '20s, there has been a lot of improvement in the processes of democracy within the continents.

If you take my country, for example, our election processes, if you take the electorate commissioner and our election processes, the internet has, actually, come to improve it.  In the areas of -- let May say data management.  So, now and then, all the processes have been automated, meaning that the electoral processes have been enhanced, so when you take, for example, the kind of politicians that we have and the way they do their things, you know, sometimes there's misinformation and all that during election period.  And I know that internet is present, knowing that someone sitting next to you has a device, more or less, can record you and before you realize and he can pose you on the internet has made our policy change somehow careful when they are speaking within the public domain.

Let's look at some of the things that this has brought to us in Africa.  The first one, it has brought -- brought about -- it has -- those marginalized within the countries, having brought into the space, and can speak their voice.  So, it's like a vehicle for citizens to speak out, to voice out whatever thing that they feel like, letting their leaders know.

And then it also promotes accountability from within.  The public officials, most especially the politicians, and then also one way or the other, has mentioned election processes within our election processes, knowing that if the battle works is there and then citizens all standing around having full with their cameras fixed on it, so as difficult it is for any politicians to, kind of, steal the elections.  So, these are some of the things that I will say the internet has served in the continent.  Yes.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.  And it's great to hear, you know, stories from countries -- or not stories but more of what is going on in countries.

It would be also good to, you know, as people address us, to hear about how the internet has enhanced democracy, perhaps, at local levels as well, not just the sort of central government.

Can we go to the French IGF.  Is it -- is Lucien speaking or is it you, Sebastien?

>> LUCIEN CASTEX: It is Sebastien.

>> SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET: I guess it's Sebastien.  Thank you very much, and thank you, Lucien, thank you, Nigel.  And I am happy to be with you, even if I am in at a brasserie in Paris.

I wanted to say a few words to (?).  I have from the French IGF.  And member of the French chapter of Internet Society and other chair of the URL with ICANN.

The question of internet democracy.  I want first to discuss the world of internet because as within ICANN we say one world, one internet.  I am still hoping and maybe now it will be become only a dream that we will have one internet.  But the question of democracy is not too much on internet.  It's much more on the application on top of internet, like social network and then other type of usage within -- on top of internet.

Therefore, I understand that we take the word internet because it's inclusive of everything.  But doesn't network of network, not too much yet, putting in jeopardize the democracy.  If we split the internet maybe it will become one of the trouble.

In the add of that, it's that we talk a lot today about several digital sovereignty.  And therefore, it's something we need -- we try to solve at the level of a country, as a government and as a religious sector working on that.  It's a little bit in contradiction with internet -- one internet in the world.

But it's an answer to what is happening in other countries where the democracy, it's much more at stake than in our countries.

In France, we are the new -- now not so new, four years ago, legislation again digital information manipulation in particular during an election -- sorry, an electoral campaigns.  Because election, it still the central part of a democracy, the heart of democracy when it's country well, when everybody can participate really equally.  It's an important point.

And therefore, need to be put in conjunction with fake news and who are becoming a really growing concern for all of us.

I guess I will stop here.  I don't know how long time you wanted me to talk and I didn't ask you at the beginning.  But I guess it's better if we leave time for discussion therefore.  Thank you for having us here today.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much for your contribution and for all you do on the international, sort of, stage in terms of highlighting the virtues of the internet, but also some of the issues that we all have to confront.

In no particular order because we have no particular order.  So, can I turn to the gentleman on my left, that's you, gentleman coma.  No, no --

>> Not a gentleman.

>> MODERATOR: For today, you can be a gentleman.  So, Giacomo is from Italy.  He probably knows -- needs no introduction.  And, sort of, works at the Italy IGF, you know, works on matters and a number of other initiatives and a great friend of the IGF.  So, please.

>> GIACOMO: Thank you very much.  Sorry for being late, but I was stuck in another meeting.

Italy is a laboratory, as you know, about the political experiment and media.  We were probably the first to experiment a television owner as prime minister.  I'm not proud of that.  But this happened to be.  So, we have seen what can be -- what could happen later and what happened later with Trump and the many other countries around Europe and in the rest of the world.

So, there has been a high attention about the relation between how to form the public opinion, the media, the ownership of the media.  Doesn't mean you solve the problem because you still have the problem.  I attention was there.  And this attention in the last years have moved progressively from television to social media and to internet world.  After this phenomenon of the arrival of boost connect to power has been put in place, many mechanisms to try to limit the possibility for television to influence the public opinion and to try to counter this phenomenon.

So, it's been put in place a lot of mechanisms, specific mechanisms.  For instance, the Italian regulatory authority measured the minutes that are given to each party when they go on television.

All this system has been completely wiped out now by the arrival of the social media.  For instance, TikTok, the guests -- the most important star in TikTok in June this year, May and June this year was, again, Berlusconi, because he start to make video on TikTok, just because they short circuit the legislation about the restriction of media, the usage of traditional media.

So, start to do things that he believes are funny.  I personally, I don't.  But apparently a lot of people were looking at him.

So, the problem is particularly acute and the fact that now Berlusconi parties, one of the winner of the last election, doesn't leave us too much hope that the problem will be solved.

As happens often, a solution could come from Europe, because, as you know, Europe, European Union is in the final phase of the discussion about how to regulate the internet and social media during elections.  There is a quite comprehensive legislation that is put in place and mechanisms of prevention.

Of course, the starting point for this reflection at the European Union level is not the internal problem, but is more the interference from other countries into national elections.  Having seen what happened in the Brexit debate.  You remember that?

>> MODERATOR: No, no.

>> Or what happened with the Cambridge analytica in the U.S.

So, we have a big hope that at least number of issues can be decided at this level.  And then because this will apply automatically to the -- not automatically, but the parliament is to adopt, this will also have an impact on Italy.

This, just to give an end to the complexity.  The other interesting experience that comes from Italy, and I want to share with you, is that we experience in the past legislation a very interesting phenomenon, that was the number of the fiber star movement.  I don't know if you ever heard of that.  The fiber star movement started from scratch 10 years ago, less -- a little bit less than 10 years ago.  Was promoted by a commission actor, a famous actor commission that says we have to stop with the politicians, the politicians are corrupt.  We need to have a movement that start from the bottom and will go to the power.  It was considered as -- was treated as a fool, not only as a professional fool, but also as a fool in general.

And nobody believed that this could happen.  And at last election before this one, so five years ago, his party took 20% of the seats in the parliament.  Okay?

Now the experience ruling the power of a country proved to be a very tough experience, and they lost at the election two months ago, they lost nearly half of the consensus, but still they are 15% of the seats in the parliament, that is considerable amount.  Double Berlusconi.

Why I am doing this reference?  Because this movement is totally relied on social media.  For instance, until two years ago, until they were not in the government, they refused to go to television.  They don't give any interview to traditional media, even to the newspaper.  They were only acting through the social media.

And this is for the communication.  But it was not only an attitude about communication, but it is lives an attitude about internal democracy.  For instance, they are not a traditional parties or they have not congress of the party but they do everything online.  And they are organized by Cocos on regional or local basis.  So the decisions are taken -- well taken because now there is a certain turmoil after the results of the last election, but the principle is that they were gathering virtually, so if there are elections at the municipal level, they gather all the people that are registered in this list, and they decide this database and they decide on together who are the candidates.  They assess a number of interesting rules, for instance, that people that have done two mandates cannot be appointed anymore so they have to leave the space to anybody else.

This is all the philosophy, an approach of democracy through the internet that is very interesting.  The results has been very bad because when they tried to run the country, the results has been awful, most of that.

But some of the things that they have done are good, like some of -- but, basically, they were living proof that if you have no specific competence, if you don't have to match with the machinery, et cetera, then you have a problem.  The principle of gaining that the house maid can run the country proved in this case on a laboratory that is not perfect and cannot work as a simple -- as simple as you can imagine.  I stop there.

>> MODERATOR: No, no.

(Overlapping speakers)

>> MODERATOR: I think what you said is really interesting and we will, perhaps, come back to that in a minute, how media, if you like, affects democracy, how we went, and most of you are younger than me in this room and how we went and preinternet, that we just had television and we logged onto -- logged on.  We switched on the television and we expected it to tell us the truth.  We had newspapers, perhaps.  But, you know, we had one state or two state television channels.  And now we have this platform of social media, you know.  Has it improved.  And it's interesting to contrast the democratic potential.

So, I'm now going to Carlos, Carlos Vera from the Ecuador IGF.  You are online.  I hope you're online.  You're on my list anyway.  And it's delightful -- he's here. you coming online, you should be visibly here.  You should be sitting up here.  Yeah, yeah.  Please, go ahead.

>> CARLOS VERA: Failure of transportation.  Thank you very much, Mr. Moderator.  Well, I think the internet is one of the most necessary for the democracy, of course.  And I don't see any participation online yet and nobody is raising their hands.

But without internet we are not able to say things in other ways we can do using internet.  We have several examples all around the world, about the positive effects of the internet.  And even some other ways to connect to people, even if they block internet.

So, all the time we were working on an idea to give the internet servers some kind of diplomatic status.  So you can know the intervene on the internet servers in any way.  But for serving the diplomatic nation status something like this, because we face every day the problems that some governments have with the people trying to express or trying to use some beneficial way the internet.

Some minutes ago we listened to the Iran friend and saying very clear about the fear of living in a country where it is probably very dangerous to live.  And internet can help to solve some things.  But maybe we are the main tool to use all the time.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, indeed.  And, yes, in the end, it comes down to us, it comes down to the people.

Right.  Well, we did have another couple of panelists, but I don't see them.  Jose Ann, I don't think you're online.  And Jennifer, Jennifer would be in the room if she was here, I suspect, because she is here at the internet -- here at the IGF.

So, I do apologize for the gender or the lack of gender diversity of the panel.  But it wasn't -- certainly wasn't intended this way.

So, what I'd like to do now is I'd like to come back to the panel a bit later on to ask some -- a bit about the future, in terms of democracy.

But let's take a couple of interventions from the room, if we may, if there's anyone that wants to say something about their experiences in their country or whatever, would be really interested to hear that.  And not least on the issue of the media, which has been brought up.

So, you got your flag up there.  Can you -- well, not your flag exactly, but, yeah, nice scarf.  Nice scarf there.

>> Appreciate it.  All three days I have been here, you are the one who has appreciated my scarf.  Amazing.  My name is Nazar Nicholas Kiama, and I work with the Tanzania IGF and the Tanzania (?) chapter.  And I am also an aspiring politician.  So, if I were to look into the dissection over political mind when it comes to democracy, I think what really pushes politicians to do what they do, basically, is that passion to, you know, lead.

And if you become a politician, you don't want to lose.  I think that is -- I don't know how that was built in the heads of politicians, but even if we lose, you want to go again and again and again.  I don't know what happened.  There must be some kind of a curse.

When I come back to my country, Tanzania, Tanzania has been a multiple pluralism since 1995.  But it has been always been ruled by a single party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi.

And there is always a region change in terms of successive government and they normally go through a very competitive primaries to get the man who is going to carry the flag of the ruling party.

However, we have had a very bad, if I may say, internet shutdown and it was during the 2020 elections.  And you see one of the things that mainly do not understand is when you have a debate going on, whether it is positive or negative, it is part of making you a better politician.  So, I don't know how I am going to get this to the politicians, but I think I will try.

The destruction of the internet, internet shutdown or throttling, whatever you may call it, basically, it is informed by a fear of criticism and the fear of, you know, freedom of assembly.  And if freedom of assembly is guaranteed in the constitution, why not allow people to exercise their freedom of expression, you know, freely?

I think what, you know, comes to the politician mind now, you are talking about the Arab Spring, the language you understand real world.  But if you leave these people to assembly -- sorry, to assemble freely, something may come out of that.  So I don't know how we are going to get rid of this in the minds of politicians, because if we are able to do that, we can make a democracy, you know, better around the world.

And there is no politician who is going to be there for a thousand years.  And I think as we continue this debate, I hope, you know, to also continue online.  It is not going to be only here at IGF.  How do we create young people, young politicians who understand that, you know, freedom of expression, it is part of, actually, constructing, reconstructing, and reskilling and skilling the politicians to be much more better.

So, I think that is for everybody to be able to -- you know, to engage young people.  Because I believe if we were able to engage young people very well on these issues, we can probably do away with the Berlusconi of the future and the Trumps, you know.  Because you can't have -- it is okay to have a disruptive politician, but you have to be disruptive -- I wish they could be, like, disruptive in terms of connectivity, you know, connecting everybody to the internet.  That is a very good, you know, disruption.

But disrupting people in the digital age by shutting down the internet, they would like to maybe find some ways to be able to communicate.  We are talking about the VPNs and all that.

So, I think Niger will be a challenge for us to be able to continue this with the young people.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  Thank you very much for that intervention.  Just as you said, shout, it went black.  So the screen.  So you have a lot of input.

So, comments around the room?  An absolute pleasure to hear from you.  And introduce yourself and then tell us all.

>> Thank you, Nita (?) from Salvador IGF and all other parts.

But I would like to comment on something that is going on in my country.  Our current president, he's very young.  He's been called a cool president, the coolest president in the world.  He's majority of local people in rural support him which is fine.  He got to the presidency in a (?) way, but he only used internet specifically Twitter, to obtain the majority of votes, which is fine.  You never complained through television.  He never went through anyplace, to any city in the country to campaign.  But still, he got the majority legally, which is good.  Which is fine.

After that, using the same means, I mean Twitter, he managed to get his parties to win majority in the congress.  Fine, again.  Because it was rightful election.

But then on, he changed, not following the due process.  The persons in the Supreme Court and other (?) in the country.  And now he is going to run for re-election.  He announced that in 2024.  Even though our constitution specifically prohibits the re-election in a continuous way.

He has also been using the same means, I mean Twitter again, to develop a hate speech to whoever opposes the government.  That means journalists, editorialists or people that write in the media.  So, many people has left the country because of that.  They fear something may happen.  Nothing has happened yet.  I mean, to a particular person yet.  Let's hope it won't happen.

But what I am trying to say, and I will stop after that, is that in this case, internet has played against democracy in our country.  We don't have democracy.  We don't have the power separation that -- you know on three powers in the state, like a typical democracy.  There's one unified.

And on top of that, he was using Twitter to give orders to the ministries, to his ministers and the ministers will answer through Twitter publicly, yes, person, right now, I will do that.  Even though this will discolor, right, my president.

So, it has deteriorated, I believe, our democracy.  And, of course, there are still some voices that through internet tried to alert or to say anything.  But I didn't know if we are going to get out of this at some point.  But it's a curious example of how internet plays both ways.  So, I just wanted to share that.  Thank you.

>> At least you don't risk shutdown.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Luther.  That was very, very interesting, indeed.  And it really did show us that we are coming to this topic from a number of different angles, from how politicians, you know, use the -- use social media, use the internet to appeal in the first place, so reach out, to reach people that they probably couldn't reach before.  But then how they use it to, if you like, subvert the democratic process.

And anyone else around the table or online would like to say something?  Please.  Someone else around the table.  Come on.  No?

Let me just look online.  I'm trying to do this and I'm not very good at it.  Sebastien.

>> SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET: No, Nigel, you are good at addressing.  I want to ask to give your point of view from UK because I know that you are sharing the meeting, but I really feel that it could be very useful to as a point of view what is happening in UK.  If anybody else can talk about UK, please do so.  It will be helpful for all of us, I'm sure.  Thank you, Nigel.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.  The situation in the UK is somewhat different.  I think we have really strong democratic institutions.  But I think that we also find that there's a tension between, you know, the normal, you know, processes of democracy, if you like and the uses of social media.

So, I think it is a challenge to our politicians.  During the Brexit debate, the debate was whether the UK should leave the European Union, not physically leave the European Union, not shift the country away from Europe or anything.  So that vote voted in favor of us leaving the European Union.

But, you know, during that debate, misinformation from various state actors trying to influence the vote.  But I'm not saying that it influenced the vote.  But there was also the -- what was come to be recognized as, if you like, misinformation or lies, perhaps I should say, because no one is listening to me and I'm old in my career so I can say this.  But, you know, certain sides, government ministers on both sides of the debate said things about what would happen, you know, if we left the European Union, you know, or if we didn't leave the European Union and, of course, those were found out to be, perhaps, not quite true.

I will stop there because we have -- and I do apologize, not pronouncing your name, Obioma, Obioma online.  Who would like to say a few words?  Please go ahead, if you.

>> OBIOMA OKONKWO: Good afternoon.  I'm Obioma from Nigeria.  I work with Media Rights Nigeria, a civil society based in Lagos, Nigeria.  While I understand the internet -- as a citizen and probably generally for us to express our opinions online.  I think we need to talk about the (?) internet is also costing for gender-based violence online, which is a thing right now.  And because a lot of women are, actually, going to violence online.  Because people now use the internet to, actually, assault and harass women. 

For me, in Nigeria the new common training of Nigeria is sharing of sexual image online.  Violence going on online is, actually, affecting their physical lives, too.  And I just want -- because I didn't hear any speaker probably -- maybe I missed it.  I didn't hear any speaker talk about that.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much for contributing, indeed, and we will come back to the panel in a minute and they can, you know, reflect on some of the points that you -- some of the important points that you have made in that.

Is there anyone else online -- before I come back to the panel, is there anyone else that would like to say something either in the room or online?

Sorry.  Yes, sir.

>> Thank you very much.  I don't want to make any controversial here, but in the field of speech on internet is in any way.  I strongly disagree that democracy in El Salvador is against leaders, because one leader democratic using the internet and it said what it has to say.  And what you do and what you say is what counts.  The internet is not guilty.  That's the thing we have to understand.  Because governments say internet is guilty.  Could the internet and maybe you have another president?  It doesn't make sense for me.  From the political point of view, I will be very proud if we have a person like the president in El Salvador has already.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.  Very interesting reflection.  There's a comment in the chat which, I mean, I think most of us would, you know, recognize from YingChu to Chen, thank you so much for your contribution who has said that, of course, the internet is neutral and neutral means good and bad, all on the same internet.

I think we recognize that.  Sometimes we might have difficulty in making sure our politicians recognize that, but it's not the underlying internet that's to blame, of course.  It's what is put on it.  So, it's, you know, don't shoot the internet so much.  But be concerned about what services and content are on it.

Let's go back to the panel.  Wisdom, you are always a great -- if you could just reflect.  We have got half an hour left.  If you could briefly reflect on what's been said and, perhaps, say something about the future.  I mean, yeah.

>> WISDOM DONKOR: Thank you very much.  And looking at our election processes, the politician, the kind of politicians that we have, I think we need to go beyond ourselves in making sure that we address some of this -- how do I say?  We address some of this electoral malpractices that we usually face in Africa that some of the harm the good democracy that we have.

Now, if you take internet down for example, internet down mostly happen in Africa when we are in our election year.  Because if you have a government did not do well and then their citizens are passing him, I mean, the only option for them to do is to shut down the internet.  If not shutting down the internet, those tighten to frustrate you in using the internet.

So, I think, in a way, is politicians that we need to have disengagement with in making sure that we address issues of electoral, electoral processes and all that.  So if you shut down the internet Yuma it goes against the economy.  We lose so much revenue.

And then the other part of it, I heard the lady talking about violence on the internet and all that.  I think we also need to start educating ourselves, especially the young ones that are coming, they put anything online.  And if you put anything online, a bad guy can pick that up and use it against you.

These are some of the things.  The internet is there, is an engine for all of us.  The bad guy can use it, the good guy can use it.  It depends on the one using it.  If you are using it to promote the bad side of you, the bad guy will also pick it and help you promote that.

So, I think that all of us need to come together and really discuss this and see what we can do to address this collectively.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Wisdom.  And you are right in what you say, I'm sure, and that this is not the end of this sort of discussion.  This is, you know, crucially important to the future.

Just before I bring in Giacomo to, sort of, reflect, he just reminded me for those of you that were perhaps at the WSIS session this morning, there was a session hosted by the IT on the WSIS Forum 2020.

>> In this same room.

>> MODERATOR: Yeah, it was hosted here this morning.  And we heard some very powerful interventions.  We were very fortunate to be in the room.  Some parliamentary -- representatives from parliaments in Africa.  And we also heard that, you know, one of the difficulties and we like to think that our politicians are, you know, reflect on what is said about them on social media and we like to think that our politicians should be addressed by us.  In the old days we used to send them letters but now people, obviously, send them emails or whatever.

But what was said this morning by a lady from Tanzania, a lady from Tanzania, an incredibly powerful address noted, but, you know, the hate speech and other -- you know, awful content that is sent to politicians.  And this is something that we have experienced in the UK parliament as well, where politicians just trying to do their job, you know, receive hate speech from, you know, fringe groups.  And it's not just I don't agree with your policies and your policies suck or whatever.  It's hate speech against them.

And this hate speech in one case in the UK parliament led to the, you know, to the murder of a politician, the young woman, you know, which was a tragedy because all she was doing was trying to represent her constituency and, you know, someone took against her.

So, we have to reflect on these issues.  Giacomo.

>> Yes.  The issue is controversial.  The problem is that internet in itself is not good or bad.  It can be badly used and can be used for the good.  The example I was making before about Italy, this force, political force in Italy tried to use the internet to replace democracy, the parliamentarian way of democracy with another way that was the more of the internet.

I think that we cannot a common approach in country where exists balance of power and in country whether independent media that are reliable and the audience and the people know that are reliable.  In country where this is not the case or never been the case.

So, there is not a solution that fit for all the countries.  I think that we need to find the different way in different country according to the different situation.

What can be done for sure is that there are two main principles that need to be applied.  The first is we need to sanitize the internet in order to avoid some extreme cases, like, for instance, interference from countries, neighboring countries that go to interfere into the other country.  This is dangerous because could bring immediately to war.  I think that what the European Union is trying to do would be interesting for others to look at as another at least for this specific problem.

The second what has been mentioned by Buono online and mentioned by -- from the WSIS conference this morning.  We need to make the environment, the political environment safe for the debate and not use the internet as a way to harass people that expose themselves in the public debate or to persecute people because they contribute to the debate.

The second important thing that need to be done is that there is a strong misunderstanding and I don't know the Salvadorian case or I don't enter into the matter.  But it seems to me similar to other cases in which people arriving to power says, I arrive to the power against the will of the previous master of the country.  And I did this because of the internet and 20 years ago it was thanks to the television in Italy.

And now I want to change all the rules.  No.  The rules that exist for democracy are balance of power that have been carefully designed over the years.  And the fact that you go to -- you are invited to the power using a different way to arrive to the power could be Twitter, could be whatever, what else, doesn't allow you, doesn't allow anybody to change the balance of power.

Because the day that you touch on the balance of power, then you can have the democratic derive that will bring you in new territories that are far from democracy.

So, these are for me the only three main points of reflection that we need -- we can share all together.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Giacomo.


>> SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET: Thank you, Nigel.  As start to say at the beginning, intervention, yes, the internet and what is on top of internet is used for good and bad.  Unfortunately, we are in internet during the COVID-19 pandemic because it's allow a lot of people to keep in touch, to do some work, but also to have contact with the family, with the children, and so on and so forth.

In the same time, yes, hate speech and that's the bad side.  I don't have crystal ball where we are going, but I would like to raise some balance of where we are going if -- I have the feel that we are stepping in the bad direction.  But still maybe some organization and people can bring us back to the right place.

Today the countries are more and more shrinking within their own water.  Yeah, sometime we talk about Europe.  But at the end of the day, it's just at the level of the country that a lot of things are done.

And at the -- in, you will say in counter point of that, we need to keep alive and be very careful of the organization who helped us to have a broader view, a global view, whatever the word you want to take, worldwide view, international view.

IGF is one.  Internet Society, it's another.  ICANN and its specificity, it's also one.  And the fact that it's a place where all the voice can be heard, listen and can come to talk, it's important.

And from our point of view, it's a way to balance the wrong side of the usage of internet, because that we need to be all together and not to say, oh, yes, fortunately, we have the parliament, put, fortunately we have them but we need to say, also fortunately we have civil society, we have private sector, we have technical part of the stakeholders and so on and so forth.

And that's our point of view, the way to go for the future, good way of democracy and not jeopardizing our world in that specific sense.  Other topics where we are jeopardizing our world with the question of green.

But to keep peace at the level of democracy is one important point.  Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR: No.  Thank you.  And thank you very much, IGF France, and thanks Lucien as well for being online.

We are drawing to the close.  Carlos, do you want to just say a couple of closing remarks?

>> CARLOS VERA: Just my comment.  Internet guilty.  Internet is not the guilty.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.  I think we have almost reached the end of this session.  Thank you so much for taking part and sharing the thoughts.  And let's hope that we can have another session at next year's IGF where we can reflect a bit further and, perhaps, have a wider dialogue on this point.

I would like to recognize the people online and the contributions that people made to democracy on the internet.  We have Avery Doya online.  We have Cheryl, Vincent Dimoa -- sorry, Cheryl Langdon-Orr, and Dimoa, who did marvelous things for the Internet Society.  So, we are very blessed that we have people that work to enhance democracy on the internet.  Thank you very much for everyone here that's contributed, this discussion will go on and thanks for the contributions in the chat.

And we are on time, which is very unusual for me.  Thank you.

>> And we recognize the presence of Anya, who, actually, does a lot to put us together.

>> MODERATOR: Sorry, yes.  Anya, she has been in other sessions, and thank you for setting up this session.  Thank you.

>> And a round of applause, Ladies and Gentlemen.