“I learned from a very early age that the incentives of publishing are not necessarily aligned with the incentives of truth,” he added.
He said the UK press “sadly conflate profit with purpose, and news with entertainment”.
“And they don’t report the news, they create it, and they’ve successfully turned fact-based news into opinion-based gossip with devastating consequences for the country.” he said.
So what has to change, according to Harry?
As the panel discussed “censorship” and the balance between free speech and potentially harmful content on social media, Harry said “the free speech argument is somewhat a distraction from the main problem”, adding “this isn’t just a social media problem, it’s a media problem.”
He said while a lie on social media is dangerous, “when that same lie is given credibility by journalists or publishers, it’s unethical and as far as I’m concerned an abuse of power.”
“If the news media is supposed to be holding us to account, who is holding them to account? Because it’s kind of become like a bit of a digital dictatorship.”
Moving forward, he said people should support professional, honest journalists instead of “the pirates with the press cards”.
Harry said “real journalists” have the power to “tackle racism, misogyny, lies, all of it” from “within their own system”.
On the panel, Harry was joined by Rashad Robinson, a co-chair of the Aspen Commission on Information Disorder and president of Color Of Change and Renée DiResta, the technical research manager at Stanford Internet Observatory.