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COVID-19 Coronavirus: vaccines, fake news on social media. Jourová (EU Commission), “information can save lives”

“Despite the efforts, the numbers and examples of disinformation continue to shock. Vaccine diplomacy is accompanied by propaganda waves by foreign actors”. The alarm was raised by Vice-President for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová, who met the representatives of Facebook, Google, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube today. She urged them to “take substantial steps to prevent harmful and dangerous disinformation, both domestic and foreign, from undermining our common fight against the virus”, especially when it comes to vaccination. In a global health emergency, the role of online platforms in public debate is unquestionable, “information can save lives”, the Vice-President insisted. Even in the social sphere, public authorities and online platforms are called to “join forces” to better identify misinformation and promote health announcements from the authorities. Commissioner Jourová also asked platform representatives to support “media and civil society which play a crucial role in providing fact-checked information”. The issue of vaccine disinformation will also be on the agenda of the General Affairs Council scheduled for tomorrow, 23 February. Under the Code of Practice on Disinformation, platforms should provide monthly reports on their efforts in this area.

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