According to David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, US President Donald Trump is the “worst perpetrator” of false information on the internet. David Kaye said everybody was struggling on how to deal with disinformation but part of the problem is the governments are the “real offenders” of fake news. “Governments are putting out false information. I mean, in my own country, the United States, the worst perpetrator of false information is the President of the United States,” said Kaye.
The problem of fake news emanating from the governments should be covered by journalists, he was quoted as saying by the Politico. Kaye said social media platforms such as Google, Facebook or Twitter can do more “technical things” and help the broader fight against disinformation. “They can do things like identify how long is this Twitter account that’s tweeting all of this information, how long has it been in effect? Was it created three hours ago? Well then, maybe it should be restricted. You know, how many followers does this one have? Are those followers’ bots?” he said.
Platforms should focus on reducing spam and bot accounts rather than on policing content, Kaye said, adding that bots are “tricky, because there are good bots and bad bots”. Google, Facebook and Twitter are under intense pressure from the European Commission to tackle fake news ahead of the European election in May 2019. President Trump has frequently derided unfavourable media reports as “fake news” and attacked journalists as “enemies of the people”.