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EU Launches Investigation into Meta Over Dissemination of Political Disinformation

Meta (Credits: The Hill)

The European Commission has launched a formal investigation into Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, over concerns about the spread of political disinformation on its platforms and potential violations of European regulations.

The investigation will focus on Meta’s policies related to political and election content, including its handling of deceptive advertisements and disinformation, which could pose risks to consumers and civic discourse.

The commission will also examine Meta’s policy of limiting the visibility of political content, to ensure it complies with the Digital Services Act’s requirements for transparency and mitigating risks to civic discourse and electoral processes.

Meta (Credits: Al Jazeera)

Additionally, the inquiry will investigate Meta’s decision to shut down the CrowdTangle tool, which allowed researchers and journalists to track potential misinformation on its platforms.

The investigation is particularly timely, given the upcoming elections across Europe. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized the need for the inquiry, stating that “big digital platforms must live up to their obligations to put enough resources into this” and that the commission is “serious about compliance.”

Meta faces EU probe (Credits: Luxembourg Times)

Meta has responded, stating that it has a well-established process for identifying and mitigating risks on its platforms and looks forward to continuing its cooperation with the European Commission.

This initial step by the commission allows for further enforcement and information gathering, and is part of the EU’s broader efforts to address potential violations by tech companies under the Digital Services Act. Other companies, including X and TikTok, are also under EU investigation.

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