In a noteworthy statement, European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova has identified the social network X, formerly known as Twitter, as the most significant contributor to the dissemination of fake news. Jourova has called upon the platform's owner, Elon Musk, to ensure strict adherence to European Union (EU) laws designed to combat disinformation. This declaration comes in the context of growing concerns regarding the proliferation of false information and the impact it may have on democratic processes.
Jourova's remarks extend beyond X, as she also emphasized the responsibility of other major tech giants, including Google, TikTok, Microsoft, and Meta (the parent company of Facebook and Instagram), to play a more proactive role in addressing the disinformation challenge. Much of this misleading content, she noted, originates from Russia, which has leveraged social media as a powerful tool in its "war of ideas" against democratic values.
The EU official characterized Moscow's disinformation campaign as a "multimillion-euro weapon of mass manipulation" with both internal and international implications, particularly targeting European nations and the global community.
As Slovakia and Poland prepare for upcoming elections, and with a bloc-wide vote scheduled for the following year, Jourova underscored the critical need for significant online platforms to address the risk of online interference. She noted that malicious actors, including the Kremlin, were likely to exploit platform design features for their disinformation efforts.
Jourova also provided an update on the EU's 2022 Code of Practice on Disinformation, revealing that Google, TikTok, Microsoft, and Meta had voluntarily committed to its measures. However, Twitter (X) had withdrawn from the code following Elon Musk's acquisition of the platform.
Singling out X, Jourova stated that it had "the largest ratio of mis- or disinformation posts." She issued a stern warning to Musk, stressing that despite Twitter's withdrawal from the voluntary code, it remained subject to rigorous new EU regulations known as the Digital Services Act. These regulations subject major online platforms, including X, to heightened scrutiny and stringent compliance requirements.
Under the Code of Practice, online platforms agree to adopt measures aimed at curtailing the spread of disinformation and must submit regular reports detailing their progress. Jourova made it clear that Twitter (X) was obligated to adhere to these legal requirements, and EU authorities would closely monitor the company's actions to ensure compliance.
In summary, Jourova's statements shed light on the escalating concern within the EU regarding the impact of fake news and disinformation on democratic processes, emphasizing the need for major tech companies to take proactive steps in combating this challenge.
By fLEXI tEAM