Monday, May 20, 2024
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EU tells Meta to crack down on Israel-Hamas disinfo

The EU has issued a warning to Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, urging them to crack down on the spread of disinformation regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict. Social media platforms have seen an increase in misleading content, including altered images and mislabeled videos. The EU has given Meta 24 hours to respond and demonstrate that they have taken appropriate and effective measures to counter the dissemination of false information. In response, Meta has established a dedicated operations center to monitor and respond to the evolving situation, working diligently to ensure the safety of their platforms. Additionally, the European Commission has reminded all social media companies of their legal obligation to prevent the spread of harmful content related to Hamas.

EU tells Meta to crack down on Israel-Hamas disinfo

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EU tells Meta to crack down on Israel-Hamas disinfo

The European Union (EU) has issued a warning to Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, regarding the spread of disinformation on its social media platforms in relation to the Israel-Hamas conflict. The EU has given Meta 24 hours to respond and comply with European law. This warning comes following the recent attack by Hamas on Israel, which led to an increase in misinformation circulating on social media platforms.

Misinformation about the conflict on social media

There has been a surge in misinformation on social media platforms regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict. This includes the circulation of doctored images and mislabelled videos, which can have a significant impact on the perception and understanding of the conflict. The spread of such disinformation raises concerns about the potential consequences it may have in exacerbating tensions and inciting further violence.

EU tells Meta to crack down on Israel-Hamas disinfo

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EU gives Meta 24 hours to respond to comply with European law

The EU has emphasized its expectation for Meta to respond and comply with European law within 24 hours. Thierry Breton, the industry chief of the EU, has demanded timely and effective action from Meta in countering the spread of disinformation on its platforms. Meta is required to provide information on the measures it has taken to address the issue and prevent the further spread of misinformation.

Similar warning issued to X (formerly known as Twitter)

In addition to Meta, the EU has also issued a similar warning to X (formerly known as Twitter). X is also required to prove that it has taken action against the spread of disinformation. Thierry Breton has given X 24 hours to respond and demonstrate proportionate and effective measures in countering the dissemination of false and misleading information on its platform.

EU tells Meta to crack down on Israel-Hamas disinfo

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Meta’s response to the warning

Meta has responded to the warning by establishing a special operations center specifically dedicated to monitoring and responding to the situation. They have assembled teams to ensure the safety of their platforms and to take action on content that violates their policies or local laws. Meta has also been coordinating with fact-checkers to mitigate the spread of misinformation. They have expressed their commitment to continuing this work throughout the conflict.

EU reminds social media companies of legal obligation to prevent spread of harmful content

The European Commission has reminded all social media companies of their legal obligation to prevent the spread of harmful content. In the case of the Israel-Hamas conflict, content associated with Hamas qualifies as terrorist content. Hamas is a proscribed terrorist group in the EU, and any content related to them must be removed. The EU expects social media companies to take the necessary steps to prevent the circulation of such content and to comply with the Digital Services Act and Terrorist Content Online Regulation.

EU tells Meta to crack down on Israel-Hamas disinfo

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Content associated with Hamas qualifies as terrorist content

The EU states that content associated with Hamas is considered terrorist content. The circulation of such content online is illegal under both the Digital Services Act and the Terrorist Content Online Regulation. The Commission spokesperson reiterates the seriousness and illegality of disseminating content associated with Hamas and stresses the importance of removing such content promptly.

Warning issued to Elon Musk about non-removal of violent and terrorist content

Thierry Breton has sent a warning letter to Elon Musk, expressing concerns regarding the non-removal of violent and terrorist content from X. It is alleged that X has not taken down such content despite prior warnings. Breton demands that Musk provide a list of the alleged violations. The letter highlights reports of fake content and the glorification of violence on X, emphasizing the need for effective measures to address these issues.

EU tells Meta to crack down on Israel-Hamas disinfo

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Mr. Musk’s response to the warning

Elon Musk has responded to the warning by asserting that his company’s policy is one of openness and transparency. He claims that X has taken action, including the removal of newly-created Hamas-affiliated accounts. Musk has requested that the EU list the specific violations they are referring to, in order for the public to have visibility and understanding of the situation. Mr. Musk highlights his commitment to addressing any issues related to fake content and the glorification of violence.

EU Digital Services Act (DSA) and its implications for big tech

The EU Digital Services Act (DSA) is designed to protect users of big tech platforms. It became law in November of the previous year, with firms being given a grace period to ensure compliance. The DSA applies to very large online platforms, including Meta and X, which have over 45 million EU users. These platforms are subject to stricter rules and are required to assess potential risks, report those assessments, and implement measures to mitigate harm. The DSA has implications for non-compliance, including fines of up to 6% of a company’s global turnover and potential service suspension.

Potential consequences for non-compliance with the DSA

Failure to comply with the DSA can result in significant consequences for companies. The EU has the authority to impose fines of up to 6% of a company’s global turnover for non-compliance. This can have a significant financial impact on businesses. Furthermore, non-compliant companies may face the suspension of their services, which could result in a loss of users and reputation damage. Compliance with the DSA is crucial for social media companies to ensure the safety and integrity of their platforms, as well as to adhere to European laws and regulations.

In conclusion, the EU has issued a warning to Meta and X regarding the spread of disinformation on their social media platforms in relation to the Israel-Hamas conflict. This warning comes in response to the surge in misinformation circulating on social media, including doctored images and mislabelled videos. Meta and X have been given 24 hours to respond and demonstrate their efforts in countering the spread of disinformation. The EU has reminded social media companies of their legal obligation to prevent the circulation of harmful content and has emphasized that content associated with Hamas qualifies as terrorist content. Failure to comply with the EU Digital Services Act can result in fines and service suspension. It is imperative for companies to take timely and effective action to address these issues and ensure compliance with European law.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-67073956?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA