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Skip to 0 minutes and 18 seconds Well, false information, clearly, is favoured by two different novelties of the digital platforms. The first one is very obvious and clear, and it’s the fact that digital platforms don’t have an editorial responsibility. They don’t assume editorial responsibility. They don’t want to respond for the content that is on them. And because of this, they don’t filter the information as a normal platform, a normal media would do. Clearly, the fact that they would filter information would be also problematic for this platform. It’s so global, it’s so widespread that if they filter, that would be a problem of freedom of expression. So the new equilibrium is very difficult with digital platforms.

Skip to 1 minute and 8 seconds In this hole that has been created, there is a lot of space for false news, fake news, disinformation, misinformation, and we are all studying all of this new categories. But the answer is not simple, but what is sure is that a lot of studies show that there is an increase of false news at the same time as there is an increase of information in general in the digital world. But probably in the key moments, in the topical moments, electoral moments, for instance, the increase of fake news, false news, is quicker than the increase in information. So the balance, probably, at the moment is negative.

Fake news and hate speech online

Watch this video, where Pier Luigi Parcu, from the European University Institute, answers the question: “How do you explain the increase in the online diffusion of false information and radical opinions?”

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Pier Luigi Parcu argues that the fact that digital platforms do not assume editorial responsibility is one of the reasons explaining the spread of false information. Do you think it is the responsibility of these platforms or of other actors to filter information in order to avoid the spread of false information?

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This video is from the free online course:

Culture in the Digital Age

European University Institute (EUI)