President Donald Trump is the internet’s “worst” purveyor of fake news, according to U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion David Kaye.
Kaye made the comments in an interview published Thursday by Digital Rights Monitor.
"Governments are real offenders when it comes to disinformation," said Kaye. "In my own country, the United States, the worst perpetrator of false information is the President of the United States."
The problem of fake news emanating from governments should be covered by journalists, the rapporteur said.
“So one thing is how do we deal with government “fake news” — if you want to call it that, but propaganda is a better phrase for it. So on that front, I think journalists need to be covering it,” Kaye said.
He added that this type of reporting might see journalists “come under pressure from the government or other actors” but it needs to happen nonetheless.
Regarding the powers and responsibility of social media companies, like Google, Facebook and Twitter, Kaye said such platforms should concentrate on battling disinformation coming from bots and foreign interference but should not censor content.
"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.”
Kaye continued: “But 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? So I think there are technical things where the companies can more and more treat spam and decrease the number of accounts that are bots; which is also tricky because there are good bots and bad bots.”