The President of the United States is the “worst” perpetrator of misinformation on the internet, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion David Kaye said in an interview published today.
“Governments are real offenders when it comes to disinformation,” said Kaye. “In my own country, the United States, the worst perpetrator of false information is the President of the United States.”
The problem of fake news emanating from governments should be covered by journalists, the rapporteur said.
Platforms such as Google, Facebook or Twitter can help the broader fight against disinformation — bots, foreign interference… — but should not remove content, Kaye said. “The platforms, I think, can do things that are more technical as long as they are not evaluating content. There are things they can do. They cant just zap it and say, “This is fake news, its off the platform.”
According to Kaye, platforms should focus on reducing spam and bot accounts rather than on policing content. And even bots are “tricky, because there are good bots and bad bots.”
Google, Facebook and Twitter are under intense pressure from the European Commission to tackle fake news ahead of the European election in May 2019.