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Fake news on the agenda of the EU’s digital commissioner

Fake news is a disease that European society needs to be “vaccinated” against, the EU’s digital commissioner Mariya Gabriel said as she opened a call for public comments on how the EU should respond to the spread of false information on internet platforms, reports Euractiv. “It is vital that we vaccinate our society against this disease so as to maintain our democratic values and strengthen them,” Gabriel told a Brussels conference. The European Commission has opened a questionnaire that will collect public responses until February and feed into a strategy paper to be published later in 2018. The document will not be legally binding but will likely recommend ways that online platforms like Facebook and Youtube should clamp down on limiting so-called fake news. Gabriel also said that she will start collecting applications for an expert group that will advise her on the issue. She referred to reports that social media companies have accepted thousands of euros to promote political campaigns and to boost the number of users following online accounts. “Another novelty, of course, is the fact that this phenomenon makes it possible for external actors to influence opinion in our democracies to an extent that was never before possible,” Gabriel said. Heads of state from EU countries agreed last month that the bloc should do more to fight fake news. Read more

  • Tuesday, 21 November 2017

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