Facebook, Google and Twitter criticised by EU over fake news 3 months ago

Facebook, Google and Twitter criticised by EU over fake news

All three agreed to a self-regulatory Code of Practice last October.

Facebook, Google and Twitter have been criticised by the European Commission for not doing enough to combat fake news in the run up to the European Parliament elections.

The trio of tech giants voluntarily agreed last year to a self-regulatory Code of Practice to address the spread of online disinformation and fake news, likely to avoid more penal reform from the EU.

However, while some progress has been made by the three firms, the EU said in its monthly report that the companies are failing to successfully address the spread of fake news.

"More needs to be done to strengthen the integrity of their services, including advertising services," the Commission’s digital chief Andrus Ansip, Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova, Security Commissioner Julian King and Digital Economy Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said in a joint statement.

"Moreover, the data provided still lacks the level of detail necessary to allow for an independent and accurate assessment of how the platforms' policies have actually contributed to reducing the spread of disinformation in the EU," they said.

Facebook, Google and Twitter have all created publicly accessible political ad libraries and enabled searches through APIs, which the EU said is a clear improvement.

Google and Twitter were not able to develop and implement policies for the identification and public disclosure of issue-based ads, which the EU said can be sources of divisive public debate during elections, hence prone to disinformation.

Facebook was also criticised for not saying whether the fake Russian network it took down in the Ukraine had affected users in the EU.