European Commission investigates Meta for failing to fight disinformation

The European Commission has opened formal proceedings against Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram. The Commission suspects that the company is not fulfilling its obligations to fight disinformation and misleading political advertising, which is a priority ahead of the June elections.

The Commission is concerned that Meta is not complying with its obligations under the Digital Services Act (DSA) to combat the spread of disinformation campaigns and misleading advertising. It fears Meta's inaction could pose a risk to public debate and the electoral process in the run-up to the European elections on 6-9 June.

"Misleading advertising is a risk to our online debate and ultimately to our rights as consumers and citizens. We suspect that Meta's moderation is inadequate and that it is not transparent in terms of advertisements and content moderation procedures," said European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager.

"Misleading advertising is a risk to our online debate and ultimately to our rights as consumers and citizens"

The Commission will investigate the downgrading of political content in Facebook and Instagram's recommendation systems and the mechanism to allow users of the two platforms to report illegal content. The Commission is also concerned about Meta's intention to close CrowdTangle, a digital tool that researchers and other independent observers use to monitor disinformation.

Meta said in a general response that it had "a well-developed process to identify and mitigate risks on our platforms". "We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the European Commission and providing more details on this work," a spokesperson said.

Fifth investigation

The Commission will now gather further evidence: it can request more information from Meta, carry out inspections and take provisional measures. There is no legal deadline for closing the case.

This is the fifth investigation launched by the Commission under the DSA, the law in effect since last year that forces major online platforms to take extra measures to protect users in the EU. This includes disinformation, as well as illegal content or goods. Several companies are already under investigation, including X, TikTok and AliExpress.



Related news

Website preview
The EU's Digital Markets Act is forcing tech giants to change. But is it enough?
Last September, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft and ByteDance were given six months to comply with the EU's new Digital Markets Act...
Website preview
European Commission demands clarity from Meta and TikTok on handling of disinformation
The European Commission has asked Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, and TikTok to provide more clarity on the measures they take...

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels