The European Commission on Thursday warned social media platforms to stop the spread of fake news through self-regulatory practices, adding that the bloc could take action if such efforts fail.
European Commissioner for Digital Society Mariya Gabriel noted that the commission has issued guidance on fake news after the rapid rise of online disinformation caused concern among civil society and EU lawmakers. because of its potential to undermine democracy.
“The commission wants online platforms to develop a “Code of Practice of self-regulatory nature” by July; it will also monitor the implementation of the code.
“We will await visible, measurable results by October this year and then, if necessary, we will decide in December whether we consider it advisable to adopt additional measures.
“The EU will also support setting up an independent network of fact-checkers to identify best practices and flag fake news,’’ Gabriel said.
Gabriel added that media education efforts also needed to be stepped up across Europe, including through supporting quality news media.