The European Commission, which previously launched a coronavirus response website, launched on March 30 a dedicated section on fighting disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, providing materials for myth-busting and fact-checking.
In parallel, the European External Action Service has also been working on analysing and exposing the spread of disinformation about the pandemic from external sources and actors. More information is available on the EUvsDisinfo.eu website.
European Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, held a conference call on Friday with Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Mozilla and trade association EDiMA to receive an update on the spread of disinformation related to the coronavirus pandemic, the Commission said.
The platforms, all signatories of the Code of Practice on Disinformation, informed that the steps they have taken during the last weeks contributed to increased access to authoritative information (such as WHO or national health authorities), as well as to demotion and removal of harmful content.
The platforms confirmed that they observe a constant flow of false and harmful information, mainly related to health, which they remove in large quantities.
Similarly, they have put the measures in place to remove ads related to protective equipment such as masks. However gaps remain in fully enforcing these new policies. Jourová urged the companies to share relevant data with the research and fact-checking community, as well as to work together with authorities in all member states and to share samples of removed content, including with the Commission, the statement said.
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