Since this Monday, Mariya Gabriel, the new digital commissioner appointed last July, launched the first measure of her mandate: a public consultation on “fake news” and misinformation online.

The term “fake news”, popularized by Donald Trump, refers to the spread of false information in the media. Writers are often anonymous, making it difficult to sue for slander. The « fake news » have always existed, but the phenomenon has amplified with the development of social networks and the crisis of paper media. This increase of misinformation is causing mistrust from a part of the population towards the media. Moreover, fake news are particularly present in the political life.

The “fake news” can be used to influence people’s opinions and to divert attention from serious and important topics.

The consultation interrogates European citizens on three key issues:

  • How do citizens define the problem? How big is the problem?
  • Are the measures already in place to fight against fake news effective?
  • What are the possible actions to preserve quality information?

Alongside this consultation, the Commission is developing a high-level group of experts, composed of academics and civil society organizations. This group will be responsible for formulating recommendations. It is possible to apply until mid-December.

The Commission will publish the replies shortly after the end of the consultation period.

 

Louise Bougot

For further information:

https://ec.europa.eu/info/consultations/public-consultation-fake-news-and-online-disinformation_en

https://www.euractiv.com/section/digital/news/gabriel-to-start-eu-expert-group-on-fake-news/