Juncker calls for action on fake news

Juncker calls for action on fake news

The demand came as a false report sparked a feud between nuclear powers Pakistan and Israel.

By ZOYA SHEFTALOVICH 12/26/16, 8:55 AM CET Updated 12/27/16, 7:31 AM CET

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has called on social media firms to do more to combat fake news spread via their platforms in an interview with Germany’s Funke Mediengruppe, published Monday.

Juncker said it was in companies’ interests to take action, because “credibility is their most important asset.”

The Commission president said he believed Europeans were becoming increasingly adept at telling false reports from the truth, but said more needs to be done to prevent fraudsters from influencing election campaigns.

Fake news has been of increasing concern both within the EU and elsewhere. Germany’s grand coalition is planning a law to tackle fake news and hate speech on Facebook and other social media platforms, as politicians warn Kremlin-backed actors may attempt to influence the country’s 2017 election.

Separately, a false report published on AWD News, identified by fact-checkers as a fake news site, which suggested Israel’s defense minister had threatened Pakistan with a nuclear attack if it sent ground troops to Syria, prompted a diplomatic incident between the nuclear powers over the weekend.

Appearing to reference the false report, Pakistan Defense Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif tweeted on Saturday that Israel ought to remember that “Pakistan is a nuclear state too.”

Israel’s defense ministry responded by tweeting that the story was “entirely false.”

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