Friday, December 1, 2023

The European Union now reprimands Meta: calls for eliminating disinformation about Hamas attack on Israel

The European Union has also warned Mark Zuckerberg about “disinformation” on Meta social media following the Hamas attack on Israel. Just as he did on Tuesday with To respond, you have been given a period of 24 hours.

Meta owns Facebook, Instagram and Threads. According to Breton, these networks have recorded “a wave of illegal content and disinformation” related to the Hamas attack on Israel, which could be a violation of the European Union Digital Markets Law.

“I urgently invite you to ensure that your systems are effective”, remarked the official. He has demanded “strict compliance” with the law and has asked for “timely, diligent and objective action” after the notification of illegal content on his social networks.

He repeated the same call he made to Twitter to communicate with Europol and other authorities, so that they make sure “respond promptly to any request”. He also recalled that, if he does not take action, Meta could expose himself to sanctions.

The The law “is here to protect freedom of expression against arbitrary decisions,” Breton said in his profile on X. “And, at the same time, protect our citizens and democracies.”

The Digital Markets Law establishes fines of up to 6% of the company’s global revenue. And, in the worst case, it provides for the suspension throughout the European Union of the platform that does not comply with the provisions.

Meta has responded to the European Union’s request explaining that they established an operations center to monitor the situation. He said he is accompanied by a team of experts that includes Hebrew and Arabic speakers.

“Our teams work around the clock to keep our platforms secure,” a Meta spokesperson told CNBC. The spokesperson added that they are working with third-party fact-checkers in the region to limit the spread of misinformation. “We will continue this work as this conflict develops,” he noted.

A spokesperson for the European Commission told the BBC that “content circulating online that can be associated with Hamas is considered terrorist content.” He explained that, therefore, “it is illegal and must be removed under the Digital Services Act and the Online Terrorist Content Regulation.”

On alert for misinformation about elections

It’s not just misinformation around the conflict in Israel. Breton also drew attention in his letter to reports of manipulated content and deepfakes on Meta platforms during the recent elections in Slovakia. The official noted that the Digital Markets Law takes misleading information about elections “extremely seriously.”


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