Social media giants must tackle disinformation before general election
PUBLISHED: 09:37 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:53 30 October 2019
There are warnings that web giants including Google, Facebook and Twitter must take ‘serious further steps’ to tackle disinformation on their platforms before a general election.
Become a Supporter
Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.
The European Commission has previously made the call for change to tackle their attitudes to elections by the end of the year, but now campaigners are calling for platforms to ramp up their efforts ahead of the general election on December 12th.
The commission had warned it may introduce "regulatory or co-regulatory measures" - which could force tech companies to share their data more openly - if they fail to improve their record by the end of the year.
By opening up data, it will allow journalists, developers and the research community to analyse operations.
It follows calls from the UK Electoral Commission for new electoral regulatory rules to ensure proper oversight and controls.
Now the Open Knowledge Foundation has called for urgent reforms ahead of the 2019 general election.
You may also want to watch:
"Facebook, Google and Twitter must act on the growing demands for greater transparency," said Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation.
"The social media giants have been at the centre of a series of rows about disinformation, particularly in connection with the Brexit referendum, and that simply cannot be allowed to happen once again in the run-up to December's UK general election. Urgent action is required, and if the platforms don't act, then they need to be forced to."
She continued: "The institutions of the EU must use their influence to require online platforms to provide more detailed information allowing the identification of malign actors, put pressure on Facebook, Google and Twitter to increase transparency, and encourage closer working with fact checkers to prevent the spread of disinformation.
"The best way to tackle disinformation is to make information open, allowing journalists, developers and the research community to carry out analysis of disinformation operations."
Her comments come as Jess Phillips MP told the House of Commons that electoral laws for coping with a general election were "not fit for purpose".
Become a Supporter
Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.Become a supporter