Europe dials up pressure on tech giants over election security

The European Union has announced a package of measures intended to step up efforts and pressure on tech giants to combat democracy-denting disinformation ahead of the EU parliament elections next May. The European Commission Action Plan, which was presented at a press briefing earlier today, has four areas of focus: 1) Improving detection of disinformation; 2) […]

Google lays outs narrow “EU election advertiser” policy ahead of 2019 vote

Google has announced its plan for combating election interference in the European Union, ahead of elections next May when up to 350 million voters across the region will vote to elect 705 Members of the European Parliament. In a blog post laying out a narrow approach to democracy-denting disinformation, Google says it will introduce a […]

Read the mud-slinging pitches Facebook’s PR firm sent us 

Facebook’s latest PR crisis has cast a lurid spotlight on a GOP-led publicity firm called Definers Public Affairs, after a New York Times investigation revealed last week the firm had sought to discredit Facebook critics by, in one instance, linking them to the liberal financier George Soros — a long-time target of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. The […]

Facebook is facing an EU data probe over fake ads

The UK’s privacy watchdog has asked Facebook’s lead EU regulator to look into ongoing data protection concerns about its ad platform — including how its platform is being used to target and spread fake adverts to try to manipulate voters. Facebook’s international HQ is in Ireland so the regulator in play here is the Irish […]

Study of political junk on Facebook raises fresh questions about its metrics

A midterms election study of political disinformation being fenced by Facebook’s platform supports the company’s assertion that a clutch of mostly right-leaning and politically fringe Pages it removed in October for sharing “inauthentic activity” were pulled for gaming its engagement metrics. Though it remains unclear why it took Facebook so long to act against such prolific […]

Zuckerberg gets joint summons from UK and Canadian parliaments

Two separate parliamentary committees, in the UK and Canada, have issued an unprecedented international joint summons for Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear before them. The committees are investigating the impact of online disinformation on democratic processes and want Zuckerberg to answer questions related to the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook user data misuse scandal, which both have been […]

Fake news ‘threat to democracy’ report gets back-burner response from UK gov’t

The UK government has rejected a parliamentary committee’s call for a levy on social media firms to fund digital literacy lessons to combat the impact of disinformation online. The recommendation of a levy on social media platforms was made by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee three months ago, in a preliminary report following […]

Tech and ad giants sign up to Europe’s first weak bite at ‘fake news’

The European Union’s executive body has signed up tech platforms and ad industry players to a voluntary  Code of Practice aimed at trying to do something about the spread of disinformation online. Something, just not anything too specifically quantifiable. According to the Commission, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Mozilla, some additional members of the EDIMA trade association, […]

Highlights from the Senate Intelligence hearing with Facebook and Twitter

Another day, another political grilling for social media platform giants. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s fourth hearing took place this morning, with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey present to take questions as U.S. lawmakers continue to probe how foreign influence operations are playing out on Internet platforms — and eye up potential future […]

Google, Facebook, Twitter chiefs called back to Senate Intelligence Committee

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey and Facebook chief operations officer Sheryl Sandberg will testify in an open hearing at the Senate Intelligence Committee next week, the committee’s chairman has confirmed. Larry Page, chief executive of Google parent company Alphabet, was also invited but has not confirmed his attendance, a committee spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch. Sen. […]