Fake News ‘Nearly Overwhelming,’ EU Says as It Weighs Fightback
The European Commission is seeking views on how to stem an “almost overwhelming” tide of online misinformation in a move that may assess how far Facebook Inc. and Google have managed to fight back on fake news.
Regulators are attempting to tackle concerns that false news reports might have sought to influence French and German elections this year as well as votes in Catalonia, the Netherlands and the U.K. French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this year accused Russia of meddling in the country’s election by putting out fake news.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the commission’s president, has promised to tackle “the challenges which online platforms create for our democracies as regards the spreading of fake information.” The EU will set out a strategy on fake news in spring 2018, it said in an emailed press release on Monday.
The European Commission started a public consultation on what internet companies, news media and others have done to counter fake news online. It will also ask what role each of those should play. It will seek opinions on how aware people are of fake news and what trust they have in different media.
Academics and representatives of news media, online platforms and other groups will be asked to form an expert panel to advise on who should play what role in tackling fake news.
“The flow of information and misinformation has become almost overwhelming,” said Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s vice-president. “That is why we need to give our citizens the tools to identify fake news, improve trust online, and manage the information they receive.”
The use of social media and fake news to influence votes is being examined across Europe. The U.K.’s elections regulator is looking at whether Russia tried to use social media to illegally influence the Brexit referendum campaign. Spanish reports have linked fake news on Catalonia with allegations of Russian influence in the Brexit vote.
The EU’s external action service, which handles foreign relations for the bloc, runs a website to counter Russian media disinformation.
via Bloomberg News https://bloom.bg/2lsrIoJ
November 13, 2017 at 05:13AM