EU Policies against Fake News to protect the European Elections

April 26, 2018

EU Commission is worried that the social media's fake news could interfere the European elections next year as they did, or at least they tried, to influence the U.S. voters in 2016. Therefore the EU policymakers are drawing up a new Practice Code of Disinformation for the EU 28-nation, which will prevent the spread of fake news such as increasing scrutiny of advertisement placements.

 

“These (online) platforms have so far failed to act proportionately, falling short of the challenge posed by disinformation and the manipulative use of platforms’ infrastructure,” the Commission wrote in its strategy for tackling fake news published on Thursday and continues, “The Commission calls upon platforms to decisively step up their efforts to tackle online disinformation.”

 

The new EU policies impose the advertisers and online platforms to produce “measurable effects” on the Code of Practice including regulation “targeted at a few platforms.”

 

Companies (Facebook and Google) will have to work harder to close fake accounts, take steps to reduce revenues for purveyors of disinformation and limit targeting options for political adverts.

 

The EU’s executive, will also support the creation of an independent European network of fact-checkers and launch an online platform on disinformation.

 

Pointing out their mistrust in social media EU Commission wrote in today’s statement, “There are serious doubts about whether platforms are sufficiently protecting their users against unauthorized use of their personal data by third parties, as exemplified by the recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica revelations.”

 

Facebook has stepped up fact-checking in its fight against fake news and is trying to make it uneconomical for people to post such content by lowering its ranking and making it less visible. The world’s largest social network is also working on giving its users more context and background about the content they read on the platform.

 

Campaign group European Digital Rights warned that the Commission ought not to rush into taking binding measures over fake news which could have an effect on the freedom of speech.

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