Fake News & Hate Speech

12 March 2018

On 6 March, MEP Eva Kaili and EIF invited MEPs, EIF Members and friends to debate how to tackle hate speech and fake news whilst safeguarding freedom of expression.

Eva Kaili praised the value of unfiltered communication with citizen and voters provided by social media and pointed to the fact that fake news phenomenon has always existed, even before the existence of social media. Regulators are trying to find ways in which social platforms can address the issue while safeguarding freedom of speech.

For Susan Ness, former Commissioner of the US Federal Communications Commission, companies should not arbitrate whether content is illegal, that is a role for government and the courts. Social platforms should be hold responsible but not liable for material in their networks. Without protection Amazon, Facebook, Google and others will not provide the services we all enjoy today.

The Italian Journalist from SkyTG24, Roberto Tallei, understands that it is in the interest of the platforms to make sharing and engaging as easy as possible but believes that the authorities should impose the same principles that are applied to news organisations, that is accountability, liability and transparency.

For Ronald Eissen from International Network Against Cyber Hate, the most dangerous development is the mainstreaming and normalisation of cyberhate.  He recognises that social networks have shown more awareness and believes that they are doing their best, although a lot more needs to be done.

Wout van Wijk from News Media Europe believes that disinformation perpetrators are fishing for the same advertising revenues as quality news media organisations, and would welcome a push to demonetise this information. In order to achieve this, he would like platforms to publish information on their advertisers and maintain an archive of political advertisers, as proposed in the US Honest Ads Act.

In this EIFAsks video, MEP Eva Kaili, Susan Ness (former Commissioner of the US Federal Communications Commission), Italian journalist Roberto Tallei, Ronald Eissen from the International Network Against Cyber Hate and Wout van Wijk from News Media Europe, assess if self-regulation is sufficient to address the fake news phenomenon.

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