Social media companies including Google and Facebook have been urged by the EU to “immediately” start labelling content and images generated by artificial intelligence as part of a package of moves to combat fake news and disinformation from Russia.
At the same time, the EU has warned Twitter that it faces “swift” sanctions if it does not comply with new digital content laws that come into effect across the bloc on 25 August.
Elon Musk’s company quit the EU’s voluntary code of practice two weeks ago and could be fined up to 6% of its global revenue – a £145m penalty, based on recent estimated earnings – or be banned across the EU if it does not operate under the aegis of the Digital Services Act.
As part of the wider effort to combat Russian disinformation, the EU has also asked Facebook and others to put more resources into factchecking in minority language content and in eastern Europe, where Russian disinformation campaigns are considered to be a threat.
“This is not business as usual; what the Russians want is to undermine the support of the public opinion of our citizens for the support of Ukraine,” said Věra Jourová, a European Commission vice-president, announcing the new package.