PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OPEN KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION
SOCIAL MEDIA GIANTS MUST TACKLE DISINFORMATION BEFORE UK GENERAL ELECTION
Social media giants Google, Facebook and Twitter must take ‘serious further steps’ to tackle disinformation on their platforms by the end of the year, the European Commission has warned.
The issue is now even more pressing with a General Election announced in the UK for December 12.
If the platforms fail to improve their record by year-end, the Commission has said it may introduce ‘regulatory or co-regulatory measures’, which could force tech companies to share their data more openly.
This would allow journalists, developers and the research community to carry out analysis of disinformation operations.
The UK Electoral Commission has also called for new electoral regulatory rules to ensure proper oversight and controls.
The Open Knowledge Foundation has been campaigning to clamp down on the spread of disinformation on Facebook and other social media sites.
Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said: “Facebook, Google and Twitter must act on the growing demands for greater transparency.
“The social media giants have been at the centre of a series of rows about disinformation, particularly in connection with the Brexit referendum, and that simply cannot be allowed to happen once again in the run-up to December’s UK General Election.
“Urgent action is required, and if the platforms don’t act, then they need to be forced to.
“The institutions of the EU must use their influence to require online platforms to provide more detailed information allowing the identification of malign actors, put pressure on Facebook, Google and Twitter to increase transparency, and encourage closer working with fact checkers to prevent the spread of disinformation.
“The best way to tackle disinformation is to make information open, allowing journalists, developers and the research community to carry out analysis of disinformation operations.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Electoral Commission report, October 2019: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/elections-and-referendums/past-elections-and-referendums/european-parliamentary-elections/report-may-2019-european-parliamentary-elections-and-local-elections
Contact: Alan Roden at email@example.com or +44 (0)7753 904 531
ABOUT OPEN KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION
Our vision is for a future that is fair, free and open. Our mission is to create a more open world – a world where all non-personal information is open, free for everyone to use, build on and share; and creators and innovators are fairly recognised and rewarded.
Open knowledge is any content, information or data that people are free to use, re-use and redistribute without any legal, technological or social restriction.
The Open Knowledge Foundation helps governments, universities, and civil society organisations by providing them with skills and tools to publish, use, and understand data.
Read more here: https://okfn.org
The Open Knowledge Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation. It is incorporated in England & Wales as a company limited by guarantee, with company number 05133759. Registered office address: 86 - 90 Paul Street, London EC2A 4NE, UK.