Prime Minister and counterparts from seven other European countries urge Big Tech to address foreign information manipulation and interference, including disinformation


2023 03 29


Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė, together with the Prime Ministers of Moldova, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, and Ukraine, sent an open letter to the CEOs of the Big Social Media Tech companies, calling on them to step up their efforts to tackle foreign information manipulation and interference, including disinformation on the platforms operated by these companies.

The letter, initiated by Moldova, points out that the dissemination of propaganda and false information, including through deepfake and other Ai-generated capabilities, aims to destabilize and weaken our democracies, to justify Russia’s war against Ukraine and its war crimes against humanity, to weaken our support to Ukraine, and to derail Moldova’s and Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.

‘Tech platforms like yours have become virtual battlegrounds and hostile foreign powers are using them to spread false narratives that contradict reporting from fact-based news outlets. Disinformation is one of their most important and far-reaching weapons. It creates and spreads false narratives to strategically advance malign goals’, reads the letter signed by the Heads of Government.

Moldova has been at the forefront of an information war since Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, her next-door neighbour. However, all our countries are under attack, too, because while direct targets differ, the ultimate goals of information warfare are universal.

The letter to the CEOs of big social media tech companies calls for closer cooperation and engagement with a wide range of stakeholders – governments, civil society, experts, academia, independent media, and fact-checkers. They are essential partners for an effective whole-of-society response to the threat, the letter notes.

It proposes several concrete measures that online platforms should take to prevent their services from being used as tools and means to advance malicious objectives.

They include refraining from accepting payments from individuals who have been sanctioned for their actions against democracy and human rights; prioritizing accuracy and truthfulness over engagement in algorithmic designs when promoting content; dedicating adequate staff and financial resources to effectively respond to the challenges of content moderation, particularly in the complex field of hate speech; and others.

‘This is a call to action because foreign information manipulation and interference, including disinformation campaigns pose a threat to democracy, stability, and national security. Big tech companies have the power to be vital allies in our common effort to tackle hostile information attacks against democracies and international rules-based order. We urge you to join forces with democratic governments and civil society and work together to protect the integrity of information and ensure the security of our societies’, reads the letter.

Full text of the letter in Lithuanian and in English languages.