Just after calling out China and Russia for their roles in the spread of fake news, the EU has ordered Facebook, Google and Twitter to provide monthly reports on their fight against disinformation. Two senior officials of the EU, Josep Borrell and Vera Jourova highlighted their concerns about the prevalence of misleading news on coronavirus and the attempts by foreign actors to influence Europe.
“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.
She expressed concerns about misinformation about the virus and urged the online platforms to provide monthly reports with detailed information on their actions to promote authoritative content.
Jourove informed that Chinese video app TikTok 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.
Josep 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 neighbourhood, and globally,” the Commission said.