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EU Monitors Disinformation After Slovak PM Shooting, Big Tech Faces Stricter Regulations

EU monitors disinformation after Fico shooting, leveraging Digital Services Act to potentially sanction Big Tech.

By Mackenzie Crow

5/16, 09:13 EDT
Alphabet Inc.
Meta Platforms, Inc.

Key Takeaway

  • EU monitors disinformation after Slovak PM Fico's shooting, highlighting the use of Digital Services Act to sanction Big Tech.
  • Digital Services Act enforces strict measures on platforms like X, Meta, and Alphabet to combat illegal content and disinformation.
  • Incident raises concerns over disinformation's impact on political discourse, with Russian media linking the attack to Fico's pro-Ukrainian aid criticism.

Monitoring Disinformation

The European Commission has announced its active monitoring of the spread of disinformation following the shooting of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. In a statement, the Commission highlighted its authority to impose sanctions and remedies on Big Tech platforms that fail to address disinformation effectively. This move underscores the regulator's commitment to leveraging its investigatory and supervisory powers under the European Union's Digital Services Act. The Act mandates online platforms to implement measures against illegal content and disinformation, ensuring the protection of user rights and wellbeing.

Digital Services Act Enforcement

The Digital Services Act represents the EU's stringent approach to regulating online platforms, emphasizing the need to combat illegal content and uphold user safety. The Act has identified several large online platforms and search engines, including X, Meta Platforms Inc., and Alphabet Inc., as entities subject to increased scrutiny due to their significant user base—over 45 million monthly active users in Europe. This regulatory framework sets the stage for potential fines against companies that do not comply with its requirements to tackle disinformation and illegal content.

The Incident and Political Repercussions

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was seriously injured in a shooting incident, described by the government as a politically motivated assassination attempt. Fico is currently in intensive care, with his condition reported as "very serious" but stable. The incident has sparked widespread concern and debate, with Russian state media attributing the political motivation behind the attack to Fico's criticism of pro-Ukrainian aid. This claim adds a layer of complexity to the situation, raising questions about the role of disinformation in shaping public perception and political discourse.