AP

EU calls out Twitter for incomplete disinformation report

Feb 9, 2023, 5:39 AM | Updated: Feb 14, 2023, 4:55 am

LONDON (AP) — Twitter failed to provide a full report to the European Union on its efforts to combat online disinformation, drawing a rebuke Thursday from top officials of the 27-nation bloc.

The company signed up to the EU’s voluntary 2022 Code of Practice on Disinformation last year — before billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk bought the social media platform.

All who signed up to the code, including online platforms, ad-tech companies and civil society, agreed to commit to measures aimed at reducing disinformation. They filed their first “baseline” reports last month showing how they’re living up to their promises.

Google, TikTok, Microsoft as well as Facebook and Instagram parent Meta showed “strong commitment to the reporting,” providing unprecedented detail about how they’re putting into action their pledges to fight false information, according to the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm. Twitter, however, “provided little specific information and no targeted data,” it said.

“I am disappointed to see that Twitter report lags behind others and I expect a more serious commitment to their obligations stemming from the Code,” Vera Jourova, the commission’s executive vice president for values and transparency, said in a statement. ” Russia is engaged also in a full-blown disinformation war and the platforms need to live up to their responsibilities.”

In its baseline report, Twitter said it’s “making real advancements across the board” at fighting disinformation. The document came in at 79 pages, at least half the length of those filed by Google, Meta, Microsoft and TikTok.

Twitter did not respond to a request for further comment. The social media company’s press office was shut down and its communications team laid off after Musk bought it last year. Others whose job it was to keep harmful information off the platform have been laid off or quit.

EU leaders have grown alarmed about fake information thriving on online platforms, especially about the COVID-19 pandemic and Russian propaganda amid the war in Ukraine. Last year, the code was strengthened by connecting it with the upcoming Digital Services Act, new rules aimed at getting Big Tech companies to clean up their platforms or face big fines.

But there are concerns about what shows up on Twitter after Musk ended enforcement of its policy against COVID-19 misinformation and other moves such as dissolving its Trust and Safety Council that advised on problems like hate speech and other harmful content.

An EU evaluation done last spring before Musk bought Twitter and released in November found the platform took longer to review hateful content and removed less of it in 2022 compared with the previous year. Most other tech companies signed up to the voluntary code also scored worse.

Those signed up to the EU code have to fill out a checklist to measure their work on fighting disinformation, covering efforts to prevent fake news purveyors from benefiting from advertising revenue; the number of political ads labeled or rejected; examples of manipulative behavior such as fake accounts; and information on the impact of fact-checking.

Twitter’s report was “short of data, with no information on commitments to empower the fact-checking community,” the commission said.

Thierry Breton, the commissioner overseeing digital policy, said it’s “no surprise that the degree of quality” in the reports varies greatly, without mentioning Twitter.

The commission highlighted other tech companies’ actions for praise. Google’s report indicated that it prevented more than 13 million euros ($14 million) of advertising revenue from reaching disinformation actors, while TikTok’s report said it removed more than 800,000 fake accounts.

Meta said in its filing that it applied 28 million fact-checking labels on Facebook and 1.7 million on Instagram. Data indicated that a quarter of Facebook users and 38% of Instagram users don’t forward posts after seeing warnings that the content has been flagged as false by fact-checkers.

___

This story has been corrected to show that TikTok removed more than 800,000 fake accounts.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Several hundred students and pro-Palestinian supporters rally at the intersection of Grove and Coll...

Associated Press

Pro-Palestinian protests sweep US college campuses following mass arrests at Columbia

Columbia canceled in-person classes, dozens of protesters were arrested at New York University and Yale, and the gates to Harvard Yard were closed to the public Monday.

3 days ago

Ban on sleeping outdoors under consideration in Supreme Court...

Associated Press

With homelessness on the rise, the Supreme Court weighs bans on sleeping outdoors

The Supreme Court is wrestling with major questions about the growing issue of homelessness as it considers a ban on sleeping outdoors.

3 days ago

Arizona judge declares mistrial in case of rancher who shot migrant...

Associated Press

Arizona judge declares mistrial in the case of a rancher accused of fatally shooting a migrant

An Arizona judge declared a mistrial in the case of rancher accused of killing a Mexican man on his property near the U.S.-Mexico border.

3 days ago

Donald Trump appears in court for opening statements in his criminal trial for allegedly covering u...

Associated Press

Trump tried to ‘corrupt’ the 2016 election, prosecutor alleges as hush money trial gets underway

Donald Trump's criminal trial in New York over alleged hush money payments started with opening statements on Monday.

3 days ago

This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows Iran's nuclear site in Isfahan, Iran, April 4, 2024...

Associated Press

Israel, Iran play down apparent Israeli strike. The muted responses could calm tensions — for now

Israel and Iran are both playing down an apparent Israeli airstrike near a major air base and nuclear site in central Iran.

6 days ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks to reporters just after lawmakers pushed a $95 bill...

Associated Press

Ukraine, Israel aid advances in rare House vote as Democrats help Republicans push it forward

The House pushed ahead Friday on a foreign aid package of $95 billion for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and other sources of humanitarian support.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

EU calls out Twitter for incomplete disinformation report