The European Union is investigating Meta’s election policies

The EU has officially launched a major investigation into Meta’s alleged failure to address election disinformation. This time Statement by the European Commission While not specifically mentioning Russia, Meta confirmed to Engadget that the EU investigation is targeting the Doppelganger campaign, an online disinformation operation promoting pro-Kremlin propaganda.

Bloombergsources too he said The investigation focused on Russia’s disinformation operation, which it described as “attempts to replicate the appearance of traditional news sources by disseminating content aligned with the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

The investigation comes a day after France he said 27 of the 29 member states of the EU became the target of pro-Russian online propaganda on the eve of the European Parliament elections to be held in June. On Monday, French Foreign Ministry Jean-Noel Barrot called on social platforms to block websites “participating in foreign interference operations.”

The company was first at the forefront of exposing the Russian Doppelganger campaign in 2022, a Meta spokesperson told Engadget. The Facebook and Instagram owner says Doppelganger remains on high alert to monitor the network as it claims it has successfully battled to build an organic audience for pro-Putin fake news.

Mark Zuckerberg on stage during the company's keynote presentation.  Profile view from left side.Mark Zuckerberg on stage during the company's keynote presentation.  Profile view from left side.


The chairman of the European Commission said that Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms may have been compromised Digital Services Act (DSA), landmark legislation passed in 2022 that gave the EU the power to regulate social platforms. The law allows the EC to impose heavy fines on companies that break the law if necessary – up to six percent of a company’s global annual turnover, potentially altering the way social enterprises operate.

In a statement to Engadget, Meta said, “We have a well-established process to identify and mitigate risks across our platforms. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the European Commission and providing them with the full details of this case.”

The EC investigation will cover “Meta’s policies and practices regarding political content in its deceptive advertising and services.” It also refers to “the absence of an effective real-time third-party civil discourse and election monitoring tool in the run-up to the European Parliament elections.”

The latter refers to the Meta deprecation of its CrowdTangle tool, which researchers and fact-checkers have used for years to study how content spreads on Facebook and Instagram. Dozens of groups signed an open letter last monthIt said the planned shutdown of Meta during the crucial global elections of 2024 posed an “imminent threat” to global electoral integrity.

Meta told Engadget that CrowdTangle provides only a fraction of publicly available data and will fall short as a full-fledged election monitoring tool. The company says it is developing new tools on its platform to provide more comprehensive data to researchers and other outside parties. It says it currently employs third-party fact-checking partners to help spot disinformation.

However, with European elections in June and critical US elections in November, if Meta wants the tools to work when it matters most, it’s best to switch to the new API.

The EC gave Meta five working days to respond to its concerns before considering escalating the matter further. “This Commission has created tools to protect European citizens from targeted disinformation and manipulation by third countries,” said EC President von der Leyen. “If we suspect a violation of the rules, we take action.”

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