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EU proposes Facebook, Twitter and Google to report fake news monthly

07:41 | 11/06/2020

Reports should be provided monthly by Facebook, Google and Twitter to fight fake news, two senior EU officials said on June 10.

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Submitting reports monthly against fake news

The comments by EU foreign policy head Josep Borrell and the European Commission's Vice President for values and transparency Vera Jourova underscore the bloc's concerns about the prevalence of misleading news on COVID-19 and the attempts by foreign actors to influence Europe, US News reported.

eu proposes facebook twitter and google to report fake news monthly
Photo: pk.mashable.com

“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.

eu proposes facebook twitter and google to report fake news monthly
European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova holds a news conference after a college meeting of the EU executive in Brussels, Belgium April 29, 2020. Photo: REUTERS

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

According to Reuters, the Commission said online platforms should provide monthly reports with details on their actions to promote authoritative content and to limit coronavirus disinformation and advertising related to it.

eu proposes facebook twitter and google to report fake news monthly
Photo: techbox.co.za

Calling out Russia and China for roles in responding to the spread of fake news

Besides monthly reports, two senior EU officials also called out Russia and China for their roles in the spread of fake news.

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. Signatories to the code of conduct include Google, Facebook, Twitter and Mozilla, Fox News reported.

eu proposes facebook twitter and google to report fake news monthly
Tik Tok app of China. Photo: uplabs.com

Borrell described the fake news fight as involving warriors wielding keyboards rather than 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.

eu proposes facebook twitter and google to report fake news monthly
European Commission meeting. Photo: Twitter
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Ruby Lee