Google, Facebook, and Twitter have formed an alliance with the BBC to tackle the spread of falsehood and misinformation online ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential elections.
The new strategy is a response to the criticism that major tech companies play a role in the circulation of fake news.
According to the BBC, these measures — that Google, Facebook, and Twitter helped develop — are "crucial steps" in addressing the widespread disinformation found on the internet.
A Collaboration Between Key Players
The strategy outlined in a report published on Saturday, Sept. 5, includes an "early warning system" that will involve organizations working together to monitor and alert one another as soon as a disinformation campaign that may endanger the lives of people or disrupt the democratic process pops up online. The goal is for tech companies to act immediately and squash falsehood before it spreads and misleads the public.
Another key measure is joint media education, shared learning, and access to impartial voter information. More details will be revealed on a later date, the report said.
"Disinformation and so-called fake news is a threat to us all. At its worst, it can present a serious threat to democracy and even to people's lives," said Tony Hall, director general of the BBC, in a statement. "This summit has shown a determination to take collective action to fight this problem and we have agreed some crucial steps towards this."
Controlling The Spread Of Fake News Online
The effort arrives as tech companies prep for the onslaught of disinformation campaign ahead of the U.S. presidential elections in 2020. Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Microsoft have reportedly met with intelligence agencies earlier this month to discuss election security, including curbing the spread of fake news meant to mislead voters.
"Improving election security and countering information operations are complex challenges that no organization can solve alone," shared Nathaniel Gleicher, head of the cybersecurity policy in Facebook. "Today's meeting builds on our continuing commitment to work with industry and government partners, as well as with civil society and security experts, to better understand emerging threats and prepare for future elections."
Facebook, which boasts 1.56 billion daily active users as of March 2019, has adopted stricter measures to deter disinformation campaign. In March, the social media company removed more than 2,000 pages, groups, and accounts linked to "coordinated inauthentic behavior."