Meta social media behemoth under EU misinformation probe

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By Creative Media News

  • EU launches investigation into Meta over disinformation concerns
  • Digital Services Act mandates Big Tech combat harmful content
  • Meta faces scrutiny, potential penalties under EU regulations

An investigation into disinformation has been initiated by the European Commission about the prominent social media platform Meta. 

Tuesday, the European Union (EU) declared its investigation into the Facebook and Instagram operator, stating that it suspects the U.S. company of violating the EU’s regulations regarding online content. Brussels has intensified its anti-disinformation measures in anticipation of the June EU elections

Meta’s content moderation efforts, according to the commission, are “insufficient” and fail to combat deceptive advertising and disinformation. 

Implemented a year ago, the Digital Services Act (DSA) mandates that “Big Tech” increase its efforts to combat harmful and unlawful content on social media platforms. 

“We suspect that Meta’s moderation is inadequate and that its advertising and content moderation procedures lack transparency,” said Margrethe Vestager, head of digital operations for the European Union. 

She stated, “Therefore, proceedings have been initiated today against Meta in an effort to determine their adherence to the Digital Services Act.” 

Concerns have increased in the run-up to the EU election regarding Russia, China, and Iran as possible sources of disinformation. This regulatory action follows these developments. 

A purported Russian-backed network that aimed to exert influence over the June 6-9 election was exposed last month. Reportedly, politicians from every bloc country were remunerated to disseminate Moscow’s narratives, with a particular emphasis on its invasion of Ukraine

As they seek to increase their presence in the upcoming five-year EU parliament, anti-establishment parties are additionally accused of disseminating their disinformation. 

In response to the proclamation made by the European Union, Meta endeavored to safeguard its risk mitigation procedures. 

“Our procedure for identifying and mitigating hazards on our platforms is well-established. “We eagerly await the European Commission’s continued cooperation and the provision of additional information regarding this project,” a spokesperson for Meta said.

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Nevertheless, the EU voiced apprehensions regarding Meta’s decision to deprecate its disinformation monitoring platform CrowdTangle without providing a suitable substitute. 

CrowdTangle will be replaced by a new Content Library, a technology that Meta has stated is still in development. 

Facebook and Instagram are two of twenty-three “very large” online platforms that are required to adhere to the DSA. Failure to do so may result in penalties of up to 6 percent of the platform’s worldwide revenue, or severe cases, a ban

In addition to YouTube, Amazon, Snapchat, and TikTok are also platforms. 

Meta is required to provide the EU with an update on the remedial actions it has undertaken to resolve its concerns within five business days.

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