During a meeting of the leaders of the political groups in the European Parliament, S&D MEPs welcomed the proposals from the European Commission to tackle disinformation ahead of the European elections. However, the Group stressed that still more needs to be done both at the European and member state level to ensure the elections are truly fair and free.

“We have reached the stage where the majority of people across Europe get their news from social media. This has huge consequences for the functioning of our democracies. We have seen in elections across the EU and around the world, attempts to manipulate the electoral process through dubious political advertising or attempts to spread misinformation. It is essential ahead of the elections next year that policy makers and social networks take the necessary action to ensure that the vote is truly free and fair, » said S&D Group leader Udo Bullmann and vice-president Josef Weidenholzer.

“We realise that there is no silver bullet to solve the problem of disinformation. We need to strike the right balance between protecting free speech while stopping the spread of clearly false or malicious information. We need to see far greater transparency over who is funding political adverts that users see on their timelines. Social media sites must also do more to tackle fake accounts and bots that spread malicious messages,” they added.