FakEU: Europe’s anti-fake news efforts get pushback

After the European Union’s high-level expert group on fake news presented its report to the press in early March, El Pais reported that Brussels won’t undertake specific legislative action against fake news.

After the European Union’s high-level expert group on fake news presented its report to the press in early MarchEl Pais reported that Brussels won’t undertake specific legislative action against fake news. On the contrary, the experts suggested that co- and self-regulation with — and by — the media sector are more effective tools to fight the spread of misinformation (Euractiv). Similar views were outlined in a different context by London Mayor Sadiq Khan as he spoke to a crowd at a South by Southwest (SXSW) conference.

Nevertheless, over the past few weeks, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel faced pressure again over the issue amid the outbreak of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal. In a letter addressed to Gabriel, Julian King, the EU commissioner for security, called for a plan to counter the spread of fake news and digital propaganda via social networks.

Meanwhile, a group of lawyers from the Paris-based HEC institute and New York University filed a complaint with the European Ombudsman. The target of the legal action is the European External Action Service’s (EEAS) East Stratcom Disinformation Review, which catalogs articles that the EU believes to be Russian misinformation or propaganda. The lawyers claim that the recommendations set out by EUvsDisinfo are in violation of, among other rights, EU laws on freedom of expression (Le Monde). However, 16 international affair analysts took the side of the European service in an op-ed published on EUobserver.

(Read the full article on Poynter, 11.04.2018)

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