EU Launches Election Interference Investigation into Facebook

The European Union (EU) has launched an investigation into Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta over allegations that the company’s social media apps are involved in foreign election interference efforts.

European regulators are investigating Meta’s Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp ahead of pivotal EU elections.

Regulators are escalating pressure on the Big Tech giant to bolster its safeguards against foreign interference and so-called “misinformation” and “disinformation.”

The New York Times reports that the EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, has Zuckerberg’s Meta in its crosshairs.

Meta is accused of facilitating election meddling by suppressing certain content while letting other information flow, potentially misleading voters.

The unelected European Commission seeks to dictate what information citizens can access on social media.

The Commission is pressuring tech companies to censor “hate speech,” “misinformation,” “disinformation,” and general wrongthink on their platforms.

The EU says it launched the investigation into Meta over concerns that the company’s Facebook and Instagram platforms lack sufficient protections against the spread of misleading ads, AI-generated deepfakes, and other deceptive content.

Meta is accused of amplifying political divisions and swaying elections with its content moderation policies.

In announcing the formal inquiry on Tuesday, officials made it clear they intend to compel Meta to comply with the EU’s censorship agenda.

EU officials argue that Meta is allowing malicious actors to operate on Facebook and Instagram who are seeking to undermine the integrity of the upcoming European Parliament elections.

The elections take place from June 6 to June 9.

The investigation highlights the EU’s firm stance on forcing Big Tech to comply with its strict rules on “content moderation.”

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The approach starkly contrasts with the US, where free speech protections are supposed to limit government oversight of online discourse.

Under the EU’s recently enacted Digital Services Act, European authorities now wield formidable powers to scrutinize and penalize major platforms like Meta.

Ursula von der Leyen, the unelected president of the European Commission, struck a resolute tone, stating:

“Big digital platforms must live up to their obligations to put enough resources into this, and today’s decision shows that we are serious about compliance.”

At the heart of the investigation lie concerns over deficiencies in Meta’s content moderation systems to identify and remove harmful content from alleged malicious actors.

Regulators cited a recent report from AI Forensics, a European civil society group.

The report allegedly exposed a Russian “disinformation” network.

According to the report, the network was purchasing misleading ads through fake accounts on Meta’s platforms.

Furthermore, EU officials allege that Meta appears to be suppressing the visibility of certain political content with potentially detrimental effects on the electoral process.

They argue that the election interference effort underscores demands for greater transparency around how such content propagates.

While defending its policies and asserting proactive efforts to curb “disinformation,” Meta affirmed its readiness to cooperate with the European Commission.

In a statement, the company said:

“We have a well-established process for identifying and mitigating risks on our platforms.

“We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the European Commission and providing them with further details of this work.”

The inquiry marks the latest salvo from EU regulators invoking the Digital Services Act.

Similar probes are underway into TikTok and Elon Musk’s X.

Potential penalties for violators are severe.

The Commission is empowered to levy fines up to six percent of a company’s global revenue and conduct office raids to gather evidence.

Essentially, the probe highlights that the content Meta is censoring is not the “right” information, according to the EU.

Free speech is not a tool that should be manipulated to suit certain narratives or weaponized to sway elections in anyone’s favor.

The censorship should not be there in the first place.

READ MORE – WEF Demands Governments Censor ‘Negativity’

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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