Facebook to monitor Italian election as EU debates Russian fake news

  • Giada Negri
  • 23.1.2018 18:21

On 22 January, Facebook wrote it is working to increase election-related news' transparency and overturn the negatives of social media on democracy. Facebook will closely monitor the incoming Italian election to prevent foreign interference, the European Parliament and commissioner Julian King had raised concerns over the success of Russian propaganda in the EU. 

Russia has invested massively in cyber capabilities and has been accused of meddling in several elections in Europe through the spread of customised disinformation on social media by its international news outlets. Fake news, combined with Moscow's links to European populists, target anti-Western attitudes in specific EU countries and are capable of shifting the political agenda in Russia’s favour. Italy is particularly sensitive as parties, such as the Five Star Movement or the Northern League, either openly or allegedly met Russian representatives in 2017. Comparatively, the EU Strategic Communication's staff and budget is currently only €1 million, although ensuring accountability on social media is urgent to increasing resilience. In April 2018, the European Commission is also expected to produce a strategy on addressing fake news based on the findings of an expert group including major social networks.

About author: Giada Negri

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