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Coronavirus Covid-19: EU Commission calling online platforms to fight fake news. “With variants, we need to be wide awake”

The European Commission is asking the online platforms to intensify their efforts to fight fake news about coronavirus. So far, the EU Code on disinformation has been adhered to by Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Microsoft and Google only: Brussels is asking the other platforms to subscribe to it as well. “The programme for monitoring disinformation about Covid-19 enabled us to keep track of major actions committed by online platforms – said the deputy president of the European Commission for Transparency, Vera Jourova –. With the spreading of new variants of the virus and the vaccination programme in full swing, it is essential that promises be kept”. In June, according to the EU Commission’s report, “the pro-vaccination campaign promoted by TikTok along with the Irish government had over one million views and over 20 thousand likes”. While Google cooperated with the public health authorities to “show information about vaccination hubs through Google Search and Maps, in France, Poland, Italy, Ireland and Switzerland”. And “breaches of the platform’s policy against disinformation about Covid-19 can be reported” on Twitter. Microsoft broadened its partnership with NewsGuard, an extension of Edge that warns about websites spreading fake news. Lastly, Facebook cooperated with international public health authorities to “raise awareness of the effectiveness and safety of vaccines”, by working in close contact with Michigan State University researchers in finding media manipulators.

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