She said Australians need to be more aware of the influence of tech and media monopolies on their activities online and their freedom of speech and expression.
“When I first came to Australia, I thought people were too complacent. Australian media is controlled by a few monopolies which creates this sense of fear, complacency and self-censorship,” Ms al-Sharif said on the panel.
“Living in a democracy is scary when tech manipulation becomes a form of soft oppression. People don’t realise they are being manipulated and that they are victims of persuasive technology. We think we have reached a conclusion from our own freedom of thinking. This is completely misleading.
“Once you go online and are facing a machine that understands who you are, what makes you tick and how to keep you engaged – there is no freedom of choice and freedom of thinking anymore.”