Join our newsletter

Trump worst perpetrator of fake news: UN Special Rapporteur

Washington: President Donald Trump is the “worst perpetrator” of misinformation on the Internet, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion David Kaye has said.

“Governments are real offenders when it comes to disinformation… In my own country, the US, the worst perpetrator of false information is the President of the US,” Kaye told Digital Rights Monitor website in an interview published on Wednesday.

The problem of fake news emanating from governments should be covered by journalists, the rapporteur said.

Platforms such as Google, Facebook or Twitter can help the broader fight against disinformation – bots, foreign interference… – but should not remove content, he said. 

“The platforms, I think, can do things that are more technical as long as they are not evaluating content. There are things they can do. They can’t just zap it and say, ‘This is fake news, it’s off the platform’.” 

According to Kaye, platforms should focus on reducing spam and bot accounts rather than on policing content. And even bots are “tricky, because there are good bots and bad bots”.

Trump has often called the US media as the “enemy of the people” and frequently criticizes several outlets for spreading “fake news”.