Commission fake news plans fail to tackle elephant in the room: the platforms business models
PRESS STATEMENT - 26.04.2018
The European Commission today unveiled its plans to tackle online disinformation. However, it does not act on one of the main reasons for the dissemination of sensationalist content, which includes fake news: the business models which are based on click-baiting to drive advertising revenues.
Monique Goyens, Director General of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), commented:
“The spread of disinformation is a transnational issue and it is right that the EU plans to tackle its causes. The destructive effects of fake news have a negative impact on all consumers as it erodes trust in society and markets.
“Emotionally charged and instigative content is diffused very easily online. Online platforms make money from advertisements displayed alongside fake news articles, videos and posts. The Commission recognises that advertising-based models play a role in online disinformation, but it falls short of committing to investigate this relationship. Shying away from this crucial element makes the Commission’s efforts look half-hearted.”