European Union with 'insufficient' weapons to combat fake news – The Economic Journal


"We now have ever-increasing false news and it is developing at such a rate and quality that it is difficult to detect what is real or not," the strategic director said in a statement to Lusa. from Friends of Europe Reflection Center, Dharmendra Kanani.

Taking stock of ongoing EU measures to combat misinformation – some of which came into force to prevent such content from affecting the May European elections – the analyst considered that “the code of conduct and other measures adopted in self-regulatory terms were implemented a little late because the problem was already at the door and it could not keep pace. ”

For this reason, he added, "this issue owes one of the top 10 priorities" for the new Commission, which takes office in November, led by the German Ursula von der Leyen.

“We must not forget that we currently have leaders in the EU actively propagating their own fake news,” said Dharmendra Kanani.

Alluding to the EU's “internal agenda vulnerabilities” introduced by policy makers from countries like the UK, Poland, Hungary and Italy, the analyst noted that “they will not try as hard as they should [combater este fenómeno] because they actually benefit from the false news. ”

“I think what we need is a very different approach to governance and regulation,” said Dharmendra Kanani, suggesting the creation of “a European regulator for digital protection focused on false news and misinformation” that includes “engineers computer platforms, online platforms and consumers ”.

At stake should be, in his view, “an independent European institution”, a “regulator who is capable of researching, investigating, enforcing codes of conduct for malicious practices and being particularly harsh, and having the resources to tackle this issue. ”Specified the person responsible.

"If no [tiver esses recursos], turns out to be smooth and can not keep up ”the evolution, the expert told Lusa.

A similar position was expressed by European Policy Center reflection center analyst Paul Butcher, who said “the effort that online platforms have made to combat [as ‘fake news’], on the basis of the code of conduct, was not enough ”as“ some measures have proved counterproductive ”and“ difficult to enforce ”.

"I think the current approach is not enough and therefore additional regulation will have to be adopted," said the expert, arguing "stronger regulation for online platforms, which may include sanctions."

For Paul Butcher, the new community executive should then "introduce appropriate, stricter legislation for social media companies to do more."

Combating misinformation and fake news has been high on the agenda of the European Commission and the EU Council.

A Joint Action Plan was therefore created late last year containing measures such as the creation of an early warning system to signal real-time misinformation campaigns, which came into force in March this year.

Created was also a self-regulatory tool to combat online misinformation, a code of conduct subscribed to by major digital platforms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, which pledged to enforce it, adopting measures such as monitoring to prevent these types of content on your pages.



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