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EU asks Meta for more details on efforts to stop Israel-Hamas war misinformation

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EU asks Meta for more details on efforts to stop Israel-Hamas war misinformation


London
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The European Union has told Meta it has a week to explain in greater detail how it is fighting the spread of illegal content and disinformation on its Facebook and Instagram platforms following the attacks across Israel by Hamas.

The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, said it had sent the formal request for information to Meta (META) Thursday.

The commission also asked TikTok for more information on the steps it had taken to prevent the spread of “terrorist and violent content and hate speech,” it said, but without referring to the Israel-Hamas war.

Last week, EU Commissioner Thierry Breton wrote to several social media companies, including Meta and TikTok, giving them 24 hours to detail the measures they were taking to comply with EU rules on content moderation enshrined in the recently enacted Digital Services Act (DSA).

On Friday, Meta said its teams had been working “around the clock” since the attacks by Hamas on October 7 to monitor its platforms and outlined some of its actions against misinformation and content that violates its policies and standards.

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And on Sunday, TikTok announced that it had, among other measures, launched a command center to coordinate the work of its “safety professionals” around the world and improve the software it uses to automatically detect and remove graphic and violent content.

But the European Commission has made it clear it needs more information. In its Thursday announcement, the body gave both Meta and TikTok until October 25 to respond to its requests and warned that it had the power to impose financial penalties if it was not satisfied with their responses.

Both companies also have until November 8 to detail how they intend to protect the “integrity of elections” on their platforms, the commission said.

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Both Meta and TikTok are bound by obligations set out in the DSA, a landmark piece of legislation, enacted in August, that seeks to more stringently regulate large tech companies, and protect people’s rights online.

The commission’s formal requests come a week after it issued a similar ultimatum to X, the company formerly known as Twitter, asking for information on how it intends to stop the spread of illegal, misleading, violent and hateful content.

The commission said it had opened an investigation into X’s compliance with the DSA. It has not announced parallel investigations into Meta or TikTok.



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