Social Media

Social media platforms should provide monthly report on actions to combat fake news: EU

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 11, 2020 Published on June 11, 2020

The report recommended that moderators be treated as full-time employees of the social media giants   -  Getty Images

Two senior officials of the European Union asked social media sites Facebook, Google, and Twitter to provide monthly reports on their efforts to curb misinformation on their platform. EU officials maintained on Wednesday as they called out Russia and China for propelling fake news on social media sites, Reuters reports.

EU foreign policy head Josep Borrell and the European Commission’s Vice President made the remark while addressing the prevalence of misleading news on Covid-19. They stressed on the attempts made by foreign actors to influence Europe with fake news.

“It really showed that disinformation does not only harm the health of our democracies, it also harms the health of our citizens. It can negatively impact the economy and undermine the response of the public authorities and therefore weaken the health measures,” Jourova told a news conference as cited in the Reuters report.

She said the next fake news front was vaccination, citing a study showing that Germans’ willingness to be vaccinated had fallen by 20 per cent points in two months.

The Commission said social media platforms should provide monthly reports with details elaborating on their actions to promote verifiable content and combat fake news. Signatories to the code of conduct include Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Mozilla.

Jourova also said Chinese video app TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, will be joining the bloc’s voluntary code of conduct to combat fake news on its platform.

Borrell described the fake news fight as involving warriors wielding keyboards instead of swords.

“Foreign actors and certain third countries, in particular Russia and China, have engaged in targeted influence operations and disinformation campaigns in the EU, its neighborhood, and globally,” the Commission said.

The EU executive plans to counter foreign actors by stepping up its communication strategy and diplomacy, and provide more support to free and independent media, fact-checkers, and researchers.


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Published on June 11, 2020
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