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Europe is ready to go to war against fake news

Europe is ready to go to war against fake news
[Photo: Jai79/Pixabay]

The European Commission is ready to crack down on social media companies that allow fake news to be spread on their platform, reports the Financial Times. The EC sees the spread of fake news across social media as one of the biggest threats to its democratic systems and is concerned how it will be weaponized to subvert European elections next year. As a result the European commissioner for security, Julian King, is calling for a “clear game plan” on how social media platforms are allowed operate during election periods. Specifically, the European commissioner wants:

  • more transparency on the internal algorithms that social media companies use to promote stories
  • limits on the harvesting of personal information for political purposes
  • disclosure by tech companies that are funding “sponsored content” on their sites

In a letter written after the Facebook scandal broke, King wrote that the “psychometric targeting activities” of Cambridge Analytica are just a “preview of the profoundly disturbing effects such disinformation could have on the functioning of liberal democracies . . . It is clear that the cyber-security threat we are facing is changing from one primarily targeting systems to one that is also increasingly about deploying cyber-means to manipulate behavior, deepen societal divides, subvert our democratic systems, and raise questions about our democratic institutions.”

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