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10 Jun, 2020 19:05

Top EU official BACKS Twitter in fact-checking ‘war’ with Trump, says Europe should take same approach

Top EU official BACKS Twitter in fact-checking ‘war’ with Trump, says Europe should take same approach

Twitter has received unexpected support in its fact-checking war with US President Donald Trump. The EU Commission’s vice president for values and transparency,Vera Jourova, said it has taken exactly the approach Europe needs.

Jourova, who leads the bloc’s own crusade against disinformation, waded into the Trump-Twitter dispute, praising the instant messaging service for “promoting the facts” instead of taking down the president’s tweets altogether.

“I support the Twitter reaction to tweets of President Trump,” she said during a press conference. “They did not delete it. We all can see it. They provided fact-checked information and promoted facts.” Jourova went further, stating that everyone, including politicians and top officials, “should be accountable” to fact-checkers.

Also on rt.com Twitter at war? Trump's warning to Minnesota ‘thugs’ flagged for ‘glorifying violence’

This comes as the EU steps up its own efforts to combat disinformation. The European Commission has said online platforms such as Twitter or Facebook should from now on provide monthly reports on their actions, to promote authoritative content and limit the spread of misleading information, particularly relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The EU also plans to provide more support to various fact-checkers, researchers and “independent media” as part of its anti-disinformation campaign. It also wants more online platforms to sign up to its code of conduct, with the Chinese video app TikTok being the latest addition to a list that already includes Google, Facebook, Mozilla and Twitter.

Earlier, Jourova shared her admiration for Twitter’s “brave” stance, telling Bloomberg News that the social media giant “did on American territory and vis-a-vis the American president what we are thinking about in Europe.”

In late May, Twitter flagged several of Donald Trump’s tweets about how mail-in ballots would supposedly lead to massive fraud. It added a “get the facts” link, which directed users to a collection of mainstream media stories denouncing the president’s statements as false.

The move prompted a furious response from Trump, who accused Twitter of stifling free speech. He went on to sign an executive order seeking to crack down on social media firms’ alleged political bias, and deprive them of protection from litigation.

Also on rt.com Trump accuses Twitter of election meddling after it bows to outrage mob & ‘fact-checks’ his tweets about mail-in ballots

The Trump 2020 campaign announced an opt-out from all advertising on the social media platform. And some media outlets laid into Twitter, accusing the company of overstepping its bounds.

Trump’s reaction did not deter Twitter, however. The firm later labeled one of his tweets vowing a tough response to rioting in Minnesota, as “glorifying violence” and violating the platform’s rules.

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