EU probes Meta over election disinformation concerns


THE European Union (EU) has launched an investigation into Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram over the failure of the platforms to counter disinformation ahead of EU elections in June 2024. 

According to France24, the probe launched on Tuesday, April 30 falls under the EU’s new Digital Services Act, a law that cracks down on illegal content online and forces world’s biggest tech companies to do more to protect users online. 

The commission said the suspected Meta’s moderation of adverts was “insufficient” and an increase in paid spots in those conditions could harm “electoral processes and fundamental rights, including consumer protection rights”.

READ: EU warns Elon Musk over ‘disinformation’ on X about Israel – Hamas conflict

EU leaders expressed concerns about Russian attempts to manipulate public opinion and undermine European democracy.

The EU internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton, explained that the probe seeks “to make sure that effective actions are taken in particular to prevent that Instagram’s and Facebook’s vulnerabilities are exploited by foreign interference.”

“We suspect that Meta’s moderation is insufficient, that it lacks transparency of advertisements and content moderation procedures,” the commission’s Executive Vice President, Margrethe Vestager, said in a statement.

Meta failed to respond on the investigation’s focus but insisted that it had “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,” a Meta spokesperson said.

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Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against information disorder. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.


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