The European Union has issued a warning about the pervasive spread of fake news and disinformation across social media platforms, with X (formerly Twitter) identified as the most significant source. This concern comes in light of upcoming elections in Slovakia, Poland, and the European Parliament, where the spread of disinformation could have serious implications.
The European Commission conducted a study in Poland, Slovakia, and Spain, which found X to be the platform most utilized for disinformation campaigns. European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova noted that X had the “largest ratio of mis/disinformation posts” and that disinformation actors on the platform tend to have more followers and have joined more recently compared to non-disinformation users.
The EU’s criticism of X, in particular, has intensified since Elon Musk, a self-described “free speech absolutist,” took over the company. Musk’s approach, which included abandoning the EU’s ‘Code of Practice on Disinformation’ and removing certain content moderation practices, has been linked to an increase in misinformation/disinformation on the platform.
The EU’s concerns are echoed by experts who point out that social networks, including X, are increasingly becoming echo chambers for disinformation. Jason Mollica from American University and Susan Campbell from the University of New Haven highlight the challenges in combating disinformation on these platforms, especially given the monetization strategies that often amplify negative and controversial content.
The report by the European Commission and the comments from experts underline the growing challenge social media platforms face in curbing the spread of fake news and disinformation. It also stresses the responsibility of these platforms to actively engage in preventing the dissemination of harmful content, particularly in the context of significant political events.
Sources include: Forbes