FILE PHOTO: the exterior of The Google offices in Manhattan, New York City, New York, united states, January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Google, Facebook, and Twitter have fallen short on their commitments to the fight against fake news, three months before the European elections, the European Commission said on Thursday.
The tech companies and the trade bodies representing the advertising industry signed up to a voluntary code of conduct in October for the approach of the dissemination of false news with the aim of averting the more heavy-handed legislation.
Brussels is keen to address the threat of false news or foreign intervention, during the campaign for the elections for the European Parliament in May and also for the national elections in Belgium, Denmark, germany, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Poland, Portugal and Ukraine in the coming months.
The Security of europe Commissioner Julian King criticised the lack of progress on cracking down on fake news made by the three companies on the basis of their monthly reports.
“Unfortunately, they have fallen further behind. They should conform to the standards that we ask of them, and that they signed,” King said in a tweet.
Facebook has not provided details of the actions against political ads in January, nor the number of fake accounts deleted by malicious activity directed at the European Union, the Commission said.
The Commission also found that Google measures on political ads are not specific enough and also the company to clarify the extent to which the actions that were taken to fake news and other reasons. Not providing concrete evidence to show that he had carried out its policy in January, the Commission said.
The EU executive also criticized on Twitter for not providing benchmarks for measuring progress in the monitoring of political ads.
Reporting by Foo Yun Chee. Editing by Jane Merriman