Tech

EU to ask Facebook, Twitter, Google for monthly fake news reports

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The European Commission is planning to ask social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Google for monthly reports on Russian disinformation campaigns ahead of the European election next May, two EU officials told POLITICO.

The call to the tech companies is part of an “action plan” on fake news, expected to be presented Wednesday.

Facebook and others will be asked to provide reports from January to May, one official said. The information would be compiled by the European Commission, which is also planning to publish these reports to create awareness among European voters on how foreign actors try to influence their vote.

Wednesdays action plan would single out Russia as a repeated offender using systematic, large-scale disinformation campaigns.

The tech companies reports would include figures on how they label political adverts as well as how many bot accounts and fake accounts they identify and disable.

Companies that have signed up to the EUs Code of Practice on Disinformation would be asked for monthly reporting. So far, individual companies that have signed up include Google, Facebook, Twitter and Mozilla.

The Commissions action plan would include a request for more funding for disinformation agencies in Europe, including the EUs own StratCom unit in the External Action Service, and the creation of a “rapid alert system” to notify national authorities if the country is under a sustained attack of fake news.

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