The European Commission today considered that “disinformation is the disease of the century”, stressing that the efforts of digital platforms “will never be enough” to combat the spread of false news on the internet, and has threatened to create tighter rules.
when it comes to disinformation, we will never do enough, this is the disease of the century, said European Internal Market Commissioner, Thierry Breton.
Speaking of an online debate promoted by the Belgian think tank Regulation Center in Europe and also attended by Facebook’s executive chairman Mark Zuckerberg, the European commissioner stressed that the fight against fake news is extremely important for democracy, particularly in case of the pandemic of covid -19 which has caused an increase in the spread of this type of content.
“We have five or six commissioners working in this area and if the measures in place have no effect, we will have to move towards more tightened regulation”, warned Thierry Breton.
At the beginning of May, the European Commission announced that it was registering more than 2,700 articles with ‘fake news’ related to covid -19 on social media every day, including false or misleading publications.
“At the end of the day, the last person responsible [for false content disseminated] will always be Mark [ Zuckerberg ], nobody else”, underlined Thierry Breton.
Also participating in the online debate, Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that combating disinformation “is an ongoing battle”.
Even so, he highlighted Facebook’s efforts in this matter, indicating that there are, for example, about 30 thousand people working on the social network to monitor whether the content published by users “complies with the rules”.
This includes, according to Mark Zuckerberg, filtering based on “20 categories of harmful content”, including misinformation, malicious information, and even hate speech.
“We are getting better at detecting this type of content”, assured the official, talking about the elimination of about 15% of the content for being included in those categories.
However, “there is still a lot to do”, also acknowledged Mark Zuckerberg.
Already in effect on the social network Facebook, according to the official, is a system that, when detecting false content about covid -19, sends alerts to people who interacted with these publications (at the level of likes or comments), in addition to eliminating this information.
“That person is warned and receives links to credible sources of information ” about the pandemic, said Mark Zuckerberg.