Following the publication from the European Commission of the first reports on implementation of the Code of Practice against disinformation, S&D Group president Udo Bullmann said:
“We are now just four months away from the European Parliament elections and there is still a huge amount to be done to ensure disinformation campaigns do not affect the vote. The European Commission and internet giants have been far too slow in reacting to our calls for meaningful action to tackle the spread of fake news. Ever since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke last March, we have been calling for real action. Although we are belatedly seeing movement from social media companies, this is far too little and too late.
“Social media companies have a responsibility to promote credible news sources and governments must do far more to improve media literacy and back new rules to protect citizen’s privacy online. The e-privacy Regulation is essential to ensure that citizens are not tracked and targeted by malicious campaigns.
“We will look carefully at the new proposals from Facebook to promote transparency in political advertising. Knowing who is behind political and issue adverts is essential. However, we need to ensure that the new rules do not restrict genuine pan-European political campaigns. It would be a great irony if rules to protect the European elections from misinformation in fact restricts genuine and informed debate across the continent.”