Motion for a resolution by the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection

All Along the Algorithm: With social media platforms’ business models based on algorithmic content curation, the phenomenon of disinformation echo chambers has become a mainstay in political discourse. Considering its implications for the security of European citizens and for the democratic processes within the Member States, what steps can the EU take to mitigate this threat?

Submitted by: Wessel Adelaar, Lieke van Driel, Elise Fanoy, Anouschka de Graaf, Ananya Sharma, Selim Urfalı, Youri van der Worp, Wobbe van der Woude, Mihaela Chiujdea (Chairperson, FI)

The European Youth Parliament aims to combat the spread of disinformation echo chambers and their negative impact on the security of European citizens and democratic processes. It further seeks to protect the fundamental right to freedom of speech of all European citizens. It also aims to combat the far-right propaganda facilitated by disinformation.

The European Youth Parliament,

  1. Acknowledging the EU citizens’ fundamental right to freedom of speech,
  2. Fully alarmed by the rapid rise of far-right and extremist movements,
  3. Noting with regret the lack of  sufficient resources Member States possess to combat the spread of disinformation, 
  4. Deeply concerned by the unawareness of the general public and government officials regarding the spread of disinformation,
  5. Concerned by the contribution of circular disinformation and numerous available interpretations of facts to the misinformation of the public,
  6. Noting the influence of echo chambers enabled by algorithmic content curation in the rise of extremist ideologies and polarisation in society,
  7. Further noting the impact of the favouring of sensationalist media in the spread of disinformation on social media,
  8. Deeply alarmed by the utilisation of sentiments of doubt and uncertainty towards democracy in generating disinformation spread with the goal of enlarging the political presence of extremist ideologies,
  1. Suggests the European External Action Service collaborates with Algorithm Watch to detect disinformation through artificial intelligence;
  2. Invites the Directorate-General of Democracy and Human Dignity (DGII) to:
    1. publish a proposal of anti-disinformation guidelines for online newspapers aligned with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;
    2. encourage social media platforms to ban or punish accounts that violate agreed-upon values of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;
  3. Requests the High-Level Expert Group on Fake News and Online Disinformation to cooperate with the European Digital Media Observatory to discuss the implementation of EU certification labels that prove the validity or invalidity of information on a website;
  4. Asks Member States to implement educational awareness campaigns about sensationalist media and the possible disinformation it might include;
  5. Further asks Member States to urge public companies to:
    1. sign the Code of Practice (2022);
    2. promote the execution of a yearly audit done by the Ministries of Internal Affairs to ensure adherence to the Code of Practice (2022) application;
  6. Calls upon the Radicalisation Awareness Network to decrease the influence of political disinformation through deradicalisation programs in the most affected Member States;
  7. Advises the Reboot Foundation to broaden the education on media literacy and disinformation to the general public, specifically educational institutions, elderly citizens and government officials by:
    1. offering teaching resources directed at children and their parents,
    2. setting up community outreach programs about the impact of disinformation,
    3. providing courses on disinformation throughout their careers;
  8. Requests social media companies to link established and reputable sources to existing sensationalist media posts from informal sources.

Fact sheet

Algorithmic content curation: Social media selection and ranking algorithms that help consumers experience better content.

Disinformation: False information intentionally and frequently spread covertly in order to influence public opinion or obscure the truth.

Echo chamber: A setting in which a person only encounters information or opinions that mirror and reinforce their own.

Freedom of speech: According to Article 11 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. The freedom and pluralism of the media shall be respected.”Code of Practice: A first-of-its-kind technology that allowed industry players to agree on self-regulatory rules to combat disinformation for the first time in 2018.