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Time to draw some conclusions
The outgoing Romanian presidency of the Council of the European Union concluded in a document published ahead of the European Council summit last week that tackling disinformation across the EU “varies greatly across member states”. The Romanian presidency reached this conclusion after having conducted a mapping exercise in all member states. For future action, the report recommends to set up a permanent horizontal working party of the Council of the EU. In their conclusions, the European heads of states also highlighted the necessity to cooperate with relevant international actors.
This comes after European institutions recognised sustained disinformation activities in the context of the European Elections. You can read here our full summary of the actions undertaken by the European Union against disinformation.
Last month, Facebook announced it had taken down nearly a hundred pages and accounts involved in coordinated authentic behavior, suspectedly originating from Russia. Working on these accounts, DFR Lab identified a much larger network operating across platforms and languages. The technique “consists of planting false stories on the far reaches of the internet before amplifying them with Facebook accounts run from Russia”. According to the researchers, the operation stood out for its attention to operational security. But this devotion to secrecy meant that almost all of the operation’s articles failed to penetrate. CNN reported on a fake tweet purportedly sent by Sen. Marco Rubio as part of this campaign.
Libra, the new cryptocurrency initiative of Facebook, has raised a lot of questions and polemics around the market power that it would give to the company. Already under regulatory pressure for possible privacy violation and its inability to stop the spread of disinformation on its platforms, the company is likely to face a regulatory backlash. The European Central Bank is to publish a report in the coming months, and the company’s officials have been called to testify in front of the US Senate.
- Google detailed how it will fight fake business profiles on Google Maps.
- Dominic Raab, the failed former Brexit secretary, was recently rebuked by the European Commission for spreading “pure disinformation” in a campaign video.
- Russia’s ambassador to the EU has categorically denied claims that Moscow used disinformation to sway voters in the recent European elections.
- The International Fact-Checking Network of Poynter has shared its takeaways on the sixth annual Global Fact-Checking Summit, analysing the future of fact-checking.
- In an opinion piece of Bruce Schneier, fellow and lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School, in order to efficiently battle the next pandemic we’ll have to battle both the disease and the fake news.
Calendar and announcements
- 25 June @ Brussels, European Parliament: #MEDIA4DEMOCRACY: Strategy for media ecosystem 2019-2024, with ‘Democracy Commissioner’ and ‘MEP media intergroup.‘
- Digital Action is hiring a full-time Project Lead, starting as soon as possible. Applicants have until 27/06.