EU officials warn Google and YouTube about Hamas-Israel disinformation and graphic content

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The European Fee despatched a warning letter Friday to Google and its subsidiary YouTube over disinformation and graphic content material linked to the Hamas-Israel battle, within the European Union’s newest effort to scrutinize Massive Tech’s dealing with of the struggle.

The letter from European Commissioner Thierry Breton, addressed to Google CEO Sundar Pichai and likewise despatched to YouTube CEO Neal Mohan, reminded the corporate about its content material moderation obligations underneath the EU’s Digital Companies Act (DSA). Breton shared the letter on X.

Breton highlighted authorized necessities for Google to maintain graphic content material comparable to hostage movies away from underage customers; to behave swiftly when authorities flag content material that violates European legal guidelines; and to mitigate disinformation.

“This brings me to a second space of urgent concern: tackling disinformation within the context of elections, a precedence which we personally mentioned once we met in Brussels in Could,” Breton wrote, referencing upcoming elections in quite a few EU international locations.

It additionally warned of potential penalties if a future investigation had been to search out Google (GOOGL) just isn’t complying with the DSA.

Breton’s warning comes after related letters he despatched this week to X, the platform previously often known as Twitter, in addition to Meta and TikTok.

In contrast to a few of these earlier letters, nevertheless, Breton’s letter to Google doesn’t immediately recommend the corporate has unfold deceptive or unlawful content material. And the place Breton had requested a few of Google’s counterparts to answer his letter inside 24 hours, Friday’s letter to Google merely requests a report “in a immediate, correct and full method.”

In response, YouTube spokeswoman Ivy Choi mentioned the corporate has been actively working to take offensive movies down.

“Following the devastating assaults on civilians in Israel and the escalating battle in Israel and Gaza, our groups have eliminated hundreds of dangerous movies, and our methods proceed to attach folks with high-quality information and knowledge,” Choi mentioned. “Our groups are working across the clock to observe for dangerous footage and stay vigilant to take motion shortly throughout YouTube, together with movies, Shorts and livestreams.”

YouTube beforehand advised CNN its groups have eliminated hundreds of movies since Hamas’ assaults on Israel started, and that it continues to observe for hate speech, extremism, graphic imagery and different content material that violates its insurance policies.

In line with CNN’s personal evaluate of the platform, YouTube can be surfacing nearly fully movies from mainstream information organizations in searches associated to the struggle.

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