Agreement in EU on strict rules against fake news on the internet

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Negotiators from the EU countries and the European Parliament have agreed on new European rules against fake news on the internet. The law obliges major internet platforms such as Facebook and Google to take action against fake news and disinformation. This must be limited beforehand and, if necessary, removed afterwards. 

Online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are also prohibited from directing advertisements to target groups such as religion or sexual orientation. In addition, minors will soon be extra protected against personalized advertisements. The European Commission will soon be supervising the work of platforms and search engines, which will also have to pay for this themselves. 

The agreements now concluded in Brussels will be submitted to the EU countries and to the European Parliament in the near future. After a transition period, the new rules should apply from mid-2024. According to EU ministers and politicians, the new legislation should ensure that “what is illegal offline also becomes illegal online”.

“This legislation is a breakthrough in how we will tackle disinformation and fake news. Big tech companies now have to cancel automated bots and fake accounts and work with independent fact-checkers. That is a big step forward," said Dutch State Secretary Van Huffelen.

“For twenty years, the EU had no laws on digital services, while that sector was developing at lightning speed. What is illegal in the real world must also be illegal online, so that our children, the elderly and all of us are safe on the internet," said PvdA MEP Paul Tang.