The European Commission has proposed new measures to tackle disinformation and so-called ‘fake news’ online, including an EU-wide code of practice on disinformation and support for an “independent fact-checking network.”
The EU Commission announced the new proposal earlier this week, arguing that the new measures would “stimulate quality journalism and promote media literacy,” according to a press release published on the Commission’s website.
“The weaponisation of online fake news and disinformation poses a serious security threat to our societies. The subversion of trusted channels to peddle pernicious and divisive content requires a clear-eyed response based on increased transparency, traceability and accountability,” Commissioner for the Security Union Sir Julian King said.
“Internet platforms have a vital role to play in countering the abuse of their infrastructure by hostile actors and in keeping their users, and society, safe,” he added.
The new practices intend to make political advertisements more transparent on social media, as well as create an independent fact-checking network in which select members of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) will take part.
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Sweden to Give Mainstream Media £1.2 Million to Fight Fake News in Run-up to National Election
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The IFCN was established by the U.S.-based Poynter Institute, which, according to its website is largely funded by various foundations — including left-wing billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundations.
Several other “fact-checking” services, including the German Correctiv, have also been linked back to Soros and the Open Society Foundations.
The EU, as well as various individual countries within the bloc like Germany and Sweden, has put immense pressure on social media giants like Google and Facebook to tackle ‘fake news’ and ‘hate speech’ on their platforms.
The Swedish government has been one of the most vocal proponents of fighting ‘fake news’ ahead of the country’s national election later this year. The government has held high-profile meetings with tech companies in recent weeks, and Facebook has even granted the government special permission to delete “fake accounts.”