The European Union has labelled the social media platform X [formerly Twitter], owned by Elon Musk, as the primary source of the dissemination of Russian disinformation. This designation comes after the EU called on Silicon Valley platforms to enhance their vigilance in combating Russian “information warfare,” according to Bloomberg, The Gaze wrote.
The EU has released reports detailing how major tech companies, including Facebook Meta Platforms Inc., Google Alphabet Inc., and TikTok ByteDance Ltd., are addressing the issue of disinformation.
“X, formerly Twitter, which is no longer under its own code, is the platform with the highest percentage of publications containing false or misleading information,” said Vice President of the European Commission Vera Jourova.
She emphasized that platforms must act ahead of national and European elections next year. Jourova stated, “This is a multimillion-dollar weapon of mass manipulation targeting both Russians and Europeans, as well as the rest of the world.”
Jourova specified that the influx of Russian disinformation has been particularly acute in Slovakia, where elections are taking place on Saturday. She remarked, “Slovakia was chosen as a country where there is fertile ground for the success of Russian pro-Kremlin, pro-war narratives,” and noted that Facebook and Google have taken some steps to strengthen their efforts against fake information following pressure from the EU.
“These elections this week will be a test, as Russia’s approach to the war in Ukraine is the dividing line,” stressed the Vice President of the European Commission.
“So, my message to Twitter is that you have to abide by the strict law, and we are watching what you do,” she added.
Most major platforms have agreed to work with the EU on a voluntary code of conduct aimed at setting industry standards for fact-checking and other measures. The bloc has also conducted a pilot project to assess the scale of the problem.
Google reported to the EU that it had discontinued the operations of over 400 channels engaged in Russian influence operations during the first four months of the year.
Meta stated that it expanded its fact-checking partnership to cover 22 languages within the EU.
Last month, a new EU law regulating content on platforms, known as the Digital Services Act, came into effect.