Saturday | 19 Sep 2020
CEPS Project

The legal framework to address “fake news”

Possible policy actions at the EU level

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Drafting of a Policy brief for the European Parliament, INCOM Committee, on fake news. Fake news is certainly not a new phenomenon. However, the Internet age has led to the emergence of new challenges in the quest for access to quality information. Phenomena such as content bubbles, as well as disinformation operations can now happen at much faster speed, and much greater diffusion. It also happens through online intermediaries that, at least initially, were not considered responsible for misbehaviour by their users and subscribers. The magnitude of this problem can only increase as artificial intelligence comes to permeate this domain, with new risks such as deep fakes and generative adversarial networks posing enormous challenges for policymakers. This paper argues that the current policy initiatives adopted by the European Commission are meaningful, but still incomplete. The policy response to online disinformation should ideally rely on: (i) the promotion of responsible behaviour in conveying information to end users; (ii) the enactment of a proactive media policy aimed at promoting pluralism and improving the exposure of diverse content to end users; and (iii) the empowerment of end users through media literacy initiatives, and supports to user behaviour.