Google, Facebook and Twitter have not kept a promise to fight rumors, says European Commission

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Google, Facebook and Twitter have not kept their promises to fight false news three months before the European Parliament elections, the European Commission said on Thursday.

Technology companies and trade bodies representing the advertising industry signed a voluntary code of conduct in October to combat the spread of fake news with the aim of avoiding biased legislation.

Brussels is inclined to face the threat of false news or foreign interference during campaigns for the European Parliament elections in May and also for national elections in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Poland, Portugal and Ukraine in the coming months.

European Security Commissioner Julian King has criticized the lack of progress in ending the false news made by the three companies based on their monthly reports.

“Unfortunately they have fallen short of expectations. They have to live up to the standards we asked them, which they signed,” King said in a tweet.

Facebook did not provide details of its actions against political ads in January, nor did the number of false accounts excluded because of malicious activity targeting the European Union, the Commission said.

The Commission also found that Google’s measures on political ads were not specific enough, and the company did not clarify to what extent actions were taken to deal with false news or other reasons. It did not provide concrete evidence to show that it had carried out its measures in January, the Commission said.

The EU executive also criticized Twitter for failing to provide benchmarks to measure its progress in monitoring political announcements.

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