Programmatic Lunch

The EU is seeking help from the public and experts to create a fake news strategy

Tyrone Stewart

EU flagThe European Commission is calling on EU citizens, social media platforms, legal personnel, researchers, and journalists to share their views on fake news and online disinformation.

The public consultation, which will be open until 23 February 2018, is aimed at gaining opinions on what actions the EU could take on fake news and helping the EU build a strategy to tackle the spread of it.

The Commission expects contributions from across Europe so that it can get a gauge on the scope of the problem, the measures that have already been taken by platforms, news media companies, and civil society organisations, and possible future actions it can take to prevent the spread of disinformation.

“We live in an era where the flow of information and misinformation has become almost overwhelming. That is why we need to give our citizens the tools to identify fake news, improve trust online, and manage the information they receive,” said Frans Timmermans, the first VP of the European Commission.

The Commission will also setup an expert group comprised of academics, online platforms, news media, and civil society organisations to help advise it on what steps to take.

“We need to find a balanced approach between the freedom of expression, media pluralism and a citizens' right to access diverse and reliable information. All the relevant players like online platforms or news media should play a part in the solution,” said Andrus Ansip, VP for the digital single market at the European Commission.