Facebook and Google pressured EU experts to soften fake news regulations, say insiders | openDemocracy
The EU’s expert group met last year as a response to the wildfire spread of fake news and disinformation seen in the Brexit referendum and in the US election of President Donald Trump. Their task was to help prevent the spread of disinformation, particularly at pivotal moments such as this week’s hotly contested European parliamentary elections. However some of these experts say that representatives of Facebook and Google undermined the work of the group, which was convened by the European Commission and comprised leading European researchers, media entrepreneurs and activists. In particular, the platforms opposed proposals that would have forced them to be more transparent about their business models. And a number of insiders have raised concerns about how the tech platforms’ funding relationships with experts on the panel may have helped to water down the recommendations. In the wake of numerous reports of massive disinformation campaigns targeting the European elections, many linked to Russia and to far-right groups, EU politicians and transparency campaigners have called these fresh allegations about the tech platforms’ behaviour a “scandal”.
(tags: google facebook disinformation russia eu democracy lobbying)