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Social media companies must increase moderation of Russian content – Higgins

Social media companies must increase their verification of content that purports to be from Ukraine and immediately remove any fake footage to protect against the spread of Russian misinformation, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Deputy Emer Higgins, Fine Gael Spokesperson on Social Media, said, “The spreading of misinformation is a tactic being employed by Vladimir Putin to garner support for Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“Many European countries have banned the broadcast of Russian TV news stations in an effort to minimise the damage being done by misinformation, yet social media companies continue to show fake footage purporting to be from Ukraine.

“Deep fakes, looped videos with fake sirens and dubbed noises, realistic gaming footage and doctored pictures and videos have been appearing on many social media platforms in efforts to distort reality and motivate Russian forces and their supporters.

“TikTok has a popular feature that allows people to reuse audio from any video and it is among the audio tricks being used to spread misinformation in the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Deep fakes on platforms like TikTok can go viral within hours, with one fake video garnering 6 million views in 12 hours.

“I am calling on all social media companies to step up their game when it comes to verifying content that purports to be from Ukraine and to immediately remove any content that is doctored. We must act in solidarity with Ukraine and its citizens and stop lies and fake footage from going viral,” concluded Deputy Higgins.

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