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World News | EU calls on Twitter for incomplete disinformation report

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The LATAM Airlines plane hit the vehicle on the runway (Image: Twitter / @AirCrash_)

LONDON, Feb. 9 (AP) — Twitter’s failure to provide the European Union with a full report on its efforts to combat online disinformation was condemned by top officials from the 27-nation bloc on Thursday.

Before billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk bought the social media platform last year, the company signed up to the European Union’s voluntary 2022 disinformation code of conduct.

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Under the guidelines, online platforms including Google, TikTok, Facebook and Instagram parent Meta have agreed to commit to taking steps aimed at reducing disinformation. They submitted their first “baseline” report last month showing how they are meeting their commitments.

Everyone who signed up to the voluntary code, which also included ad tech companies and civil society groups, submitted a full report — except for Twitter.

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“I am disappointed to see that Twitter’s reporting lags behind others, and I hope they take their obligations under the code more seriously,” Vera Jourova, the European Commission’s executive vice-president for values ​​and transparency, said in a statement.

“Russia is also involved in an all-out disinformation war, and platforms need to live up to their responsibilities.”

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The social media company’s press office was shut down after Musk bought it last year, and its communications team was fired.

EU leaders have grown increasingly alarmed by the prevalence of disinformation on online platforms, especially about the COVID-19 pandemic and Russian propaganda during the Ukraine war.

The guidelines were strengthened last year by linking them to the upcoming Digital Services Act, with new rules aimed at making big tech companies clean up their platforms or face hefty fines.

But Musk has raised concerns about what’s coming out on Twitter by ending enforcement of his policies against COVID-19 misinformation and other moves, such as disbanding its trust and safety committee that advises on issues like hate speech and other harmful content.

A standardized report under EU disinformation laws includes data on how much advertising money was blocked going to “disinformation actors”; political ads that were flagged or rejected; examples of manipulative practices such as fake accounts; and Information about the impact of fact-checking.

The European Commission said Twitter’s report “lacked data and contained no information on its commitment to empowering the fact-checking community”.

Thierry Breton, the commissioner in charge of digital policy, said it was not surprising that the “level of quality” in the reports varied widely, but made no mention of Twitter.

Meanwhile, TikTok touted its efforts to fight disinformation in Europe under the guidelines.

Caroline Greer, TikTok’s director of public policy and government relations, said in a blog post on Thursday that the popular Chinese video-sharing app will expand its use of labels on content from state-controlled media and strengthen efforts to address the impact of misleading information. Work stems from Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“We will continue to invest broadly, working with others to fight disinformation and promote authentic online experiences for our communities,” Greer said. (AP)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)


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