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Platform Response to Disinformation during the EU Election 2024

Fundacion Analysis of the responses of very large online platforms to debunked disinformation during the EU Election 2024. 1. Executive summary – The goal of this report is to evaluate how five very large online platforms (VLOPs: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X and YouTube) have responded to debunked electoral disinformation about the European Parliamentary elections of June 2024, in line with their obligations under the Digital Services Act (DSA) to “put in place reasonable, proportionate and effective mitigation measures” against disinformation. For that purpose, we have analyzed the disinformation content identified by the independent European fact checking organisations involved in the EFCSN’s Elections24Check project during the four months ahead of the elections, including ElectionDay (from 1 february to 6 June 2024). Elections24Check is a database that gathers and categorizes fact-checked information in Europe ahead of the 2024 European Elections. Over 40 EFCSN member contributed to the database. The content assessed in this report covers a total of 1321 posts identified in 26 European countries. The main results of this analysis are the following:
● All in all, 45% of those disinformation contents received no visible action by the platforms, but each platform’s response rate varies, as did the particular content moderation decisions they made when they did act.
● YouTube took no visible action regarding 75% of disinformation contents and, even in the cases where it did, in 80% of those it just surfaced a generic information panel or labeled the source of the video as state media, offering no explanation of why the content itself was false. Some of those videos reached 500.000 views.
● X took no visible action in 70% of the cases and Community Notes were visible in only 15% of the posts already debunked by European independent fact-checkers. Among the 20 most viral debunked posts that received no action by the platforms, 18 were hosted in X with over 1,5 million views each.
● TikTok managed to take visible action on 40% of the posts containing disinformation, Instagram in 70%, and Facebook on 88%. While the majority of Facebook actions regarding disinformation were fact-checking labels that kept the original content online and focused on adding context (77%), TikTok’s most common action against those contents was to remove them (32%).
● The 20 most viral posts or videos that received no action by the platforms hosting them accumulate over 1,5 million views each.
● Across the most common topics, the one in which platforms’ response was the least successful was disinformation targeting migrants (57% of the cases received no action) closely followed by disinformation about the integrity of the election (56%). Both YouTube and TikTok had a 0% response rate for disinformation targeting migrants…”

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