Europe Call on Tech Giants to Fight Fake News

  • Elijah Martin
  • 28 Feb 2022

The Russian attack on Ukraine exposed severe problems with data verification on news sites and social networks. People worldwide watch developments through various Internet resources, which are not always sufficiently tested. European leaders, particularly the heads of Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, and Poland, have demanded large digital companies like Google, Meta, and Twitter tighten their control over false information.

The joint letter was published on Sunday, February 27th, even though the day before, many corporations, including those mentioned above, imposed certain restrictions on various state-owned Russian media. In particular, on some platforms, they were banned from monetizing content and buying ads, and some channels were completely blocked in certain regions, among them Ukraine.

According to the heads of European countries, these actions are not enough to prevent the spread of fake news. As stated in the appeal, the Russian authorities have published disinformation before for many years. Representatives of social networks and platforms ignored it, and therefore they are accomplices of the ongoing processes, albeit indirectly. At the moment, such connivance is a threat to Ukraine and the whole world.

In their letter, the politicians put forward several proposals to tech giants. They demanded that channels and profiles justify or encourage military action be blocked. It was also proposed to blocklist the official Russian and Belarusian authorities and state bodies' resources. Information platforms and social networks should review their tools and recommendation algorithms and inform users about the presence of false data.

Representatives of some platforms have already responded to this appeal and reported they label Russian state channels and introduce more stringent measures. Do you think companies will be able to deal with this massive flow of misinformation? Or will there always be loopholes?

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