News JVTech TikTok, Twitter and Google, champions of misinformation in France?
Published on 30/11/2022 at 17:55
Arcom, the Internet policeman in France, has just published a long report that points the finger at certain Internet companies regarding the way in which they deal with fake news. TikTok and Google are in the crosshairs.
In a very long report called Fight against the manipulation of information on online platforms, Arcom is interested in how internet platforms work to avoid disinformation. These days, this is an essential fight: fake news has experienced a very strong resurgence in recent years, especially since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Arcom’s balance sheet concerns the year 2021, and it is not always brilliant.
Misinformation on the Internet: good students, but also bad ones for Arcom
Arcom, still known recently under the name of CSA, based itself on the results obtained from 12 companies to carry out this long study: Dailymotion, Google, LinkedIn, Meta, Microsoft, Pinterest, Snap, TikTok, Twitter, Webedia, la Fondation Wikimédia et Yahoo. “The law of December 22, 2018 on the fight against the manipulation of information imposes on online platform operators a duty of cooperation with Arcom, obligations of means and transparency with regard to their users”, recalls the body.
Among the obligations of means in question, we find “the establishment of a reporting system, better transparency of algorithms, the promotion of content from verified sources, the fight against accounts actively participating in the manipulation of information, enhanced transparency on certain advertisements and media and information education actions. » The list is therefore very long and not all companies comply with these obligations in the same way.
However, Arcom immediately underlines an “improvement in the quantity of declared information” which results, according to the organization, frombetter communication and enhanced cooperation between the platforms. However, this is not always enough and Arcom does not hesitate to pin down certain companies that still have a long way to go on the subject.
Yahoo and Google in the list of bad students
Among the companies singled out by Arcom, we can first mention Yahoo and Google, two historical companies that apparently did not provide enough information to the organization in order to be able to draw up an accurate report of their activities. These firms “are particularly distinguished by the absence of tangible information” provided within the framework of this study.
“There is progress and some have made efforts to give more precise answers. But the platforms remain generally too discreet about the reality of the phenomena, ”explains in particular Lucille Petit, head of the online platforms department at Arcom. “They give too few figures. This raises a question about their ability to measure and combat disinformation. »
TikTok, a real problem for Arcom
But for the Arcom, the platform that poses the most problems today is especially TikTok. The Chinese social network was subject to the obligations of the organization for the first time, and he was not very open to collaboration. The service’s statement turned out to be “particularly imprecise”, and “out of step with the very important place taken by the platform, especially among young people”.
“TikTok refers to its transparency reports, but only declares quantified elements at the global level”, specifies, moreover, Arcom. It is therefore complicated, if not impossible, to know how the company manages French regulations. “TikTok’s statement is particularly imprecise, with little information relating to the service in France and no tangible elements allowing an assessment of the means and measures put in place. »
“The status quo is not possible for TikTok,” said Arcom college member Benoît Loutrel. The social network will therefore be forced to clarify its position in the coming months.. However, it is difficult to know what sanctions await him if he decides not to do so…
Concerns from Twitter
For its part, Twitter is not particularly a bad student, especially when compared to other uncooperative services. However, the platform still shows “very relative transparency concerning the encrypted data”, with “imprecise elements” concerning its automatic tools.
Of course, the very turbulent news associated with the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk does not fail to worry Arcom. The latter contacted Twitter for details regarding how the social network intends to fulfill its obligations. A response has been received, but it is not entirely satisfactory. “The courier makes a political statement about the desire to comply with the regulations. But he left us on our hunger as to the concrete translation of this speech within the teams of Twitter. We are going to enter into dialogue with Twitter for details, ”concludes the president of Arcom, Roch-Olivier Maistre.