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What you need to know

  • The EU wants Google, Facebook, and Twitter to do more to fight fake news.
  • Two officials called on the firms to provide monthly reports to the bloc.
  • They also called out China and Russia for their roles in spreading fake news.

Two EU officials have called on Google, Facebook, and Twitter to provide monthly reports on their fight against fake news.

As reported by Reuters:

Facebook, Google and Twitter should provide monthly reports on their fight against disinformation, two senior EU officials said on Wednesday as they called out Russia and China for their roles in the spread of 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.

In a news conference, Jourova said that disinformation didn't just "harm the health of our democracies", but also the health of its citizens. Specifically, she was referring to vaccination, where fake news has caused German's willingness to be vaccinated to fall by 20 percent over the course of two months. She also said that fake news negatively impacted the economy and undermined public authorities, further weakening health measures.

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The European Commission thinks that online platforms should provide monthly reports, detailing the actions they have taken "to promote authoritative content" and limiting disinformation, specifically regarding coronavirus and disinformation.

TikTok is also reportedly joining the EU's voluntary code of conduct to combat fake news on its platform. Borrell had strong words for Russia and China stating:

"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"

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