Fake news has become “almost overwhelming,” the European Commission warned as it weighed steps that may help it assess how far the likes of Facebook and Google have stemmed the tide of online misinformation.
The European Union’s executive arm said Monday it was starting a public consultation on fake news, including on what internet companies, news media and others have done to counter disinformation online. It will also ask what role each of those should play. Officials will seek opinions on how aware people are of fake news and what trust they have in different media.
Regulators are attempting to tackle concerns that false news reports might have sought to influence French and German elections this year as well as votes in Catalonia, the Netherlands and the U.K. French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this year accused Russia of meddling in the country’s election by putting out fake news.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the commission’s president, has promised to tackle “the challenges which online platforms create for our democracies as regards the spreading of fake information.” The EU will set out a strategy on fake news in spring 2018, it said in an emailed statement.
(c) 2017, Bloomberg · Aoife White