- The tech giants are asked by the European Commission to deal with the fake news amidst the pandemic.
- The organizations will be required to provide records of their actions to EU.
The European Commission has reportedly informed tech giants Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, and Google to continue monthly reports on their efforts to address fake news especially on COVID-19, for the coming six months.
Online platforms and social media have become a hotspot for spreading fake news, resulting in calls for regulators to increase their efforts or suffer strict rules.
Sources confirmed that together with TikTok and advertisers, the companies signed the Code of Practice of the European Union to tackle the spread of misinformation on their channels, and had to send reports on their activities over the initial six-month span.
An EU executive reportedly stated that due to their importance during the pandemic, the reports will continue for another six months.
Companies were advised to provide more information on the spread of misinformation during the coronavirus crisis and the granular effect of their activities in EU countries.
Vera Jourova, Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency, mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic has become a breeding ground for false claims and conspiracies, and platforms are the key amplifiers of such messages.
She further added that they must constantly work together to enhance their fight against false information, but they require more transparency and better efforts from the online channels.
Earlier this month, Google launched a USD 3 million fund to tackle the misinformation spread during the COVID-19 pandemic. With intensifying tensions regarding misinformation associated with COVID-19, Twitter too improved its stance by launching a feature to fight disinformation by tapping users, in a similar way to Wikipedia, to identify potential misleading tweets.