World Briefs: EU piles pressure on social media giants

EU piles pressure on social media giants

BRUSSELS • Tech giants like Facebook and Google must step up efforts to tackle the spread of fake news online in the next few months.

If they fail to do so, they could face further European Union regulation, as concerns mount over election interference. The European Commission yesterday said it would draw up a Code of Practice on Disinformation for the 28-nation EU by July, with measures to prevent the spread of fake news such as increasing scrutiny of advertisement placements.

Advertisers and online platforms should produce "measurable effects" by October, failing which the commission could propose further actions, including regulation "targeted at a few platforms".

Companies will have to work harder to close fake accounts, take steps to cut revenues for purveyors of disinformation, and limit targeting options for political adverts.


5 men in bull run sex assault get 9 years' jail

MADRID • Five men accused of gang raping a woman at Pamplona's bull-running festival were sentenced yesterday to nine years in jail for "sexual abuse", but avoided the more serious charge of rape.

The men, in their late 20s, were accused of raping the woman, then 18, at the entrance to an apartment building in Pamplona on July 7, 2016, at the start of the week-long San Fermin festival, which draws tens of thousands of visitors.

The five allegedly filmed the act with their smartphones, then bragged about it on a WhatsApp messaging group.

Defence lawyers argued that the victim agreed to the sexual encounter.

However, prosecutors said the victim had met the men just seven minutes before the incident, and did not even know their names.


France identifies 416 ISIS donors in country

PARIS • French authorities have identified 416 people who gave money to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militant group as dozens of ministers met to discuss how to cut off funds for extremists.

France's top anti-terror prosecutor Francois Molins yesterday said French security services also detected 320 fundraisers - mainly based in Turkey and Libya - who transferred the money to the extremists.

French officials are concerned that the money may have been transferred out of Syria and Iraq, and used to rebuild the organisation.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2018, with the headline 'WorldBriefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe