Microsoft’s President Brad Smith said that the company would not label social media posts, which were verified to be fake news, as false.
This decision was made to avoid the firm’s appearance to censor online speech. On the other hand, he hinted that the entity is taking a different approach compared to its giant tech peers in dealing with disinformation.
Recently, Twitter and Meta Platform’s Facebook have experienced a public backlash over their attempts to tag and remove inaccurate and misleading content on their websites and social media applications.
Notably, the debate over truth has become a political topic, with US lawmakers asserting that social networking sites suppressed right-wing voices.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Homeland Security scrapped its own disinformation bureau earlier this year following a public outcry.
For now, Smith said that Microsoft is focusing on tracking disinformation campaigns, which target the firm’s private and public sector customers and publicize their data.
Just like what it already did with its cybersecurity incident reports, the tech giant’s policy team will share its propaganda-related findings with international governments.
It has the aim of lobbying politicians to agree on a set of rules for country-state conduct in cyberspace.
Russian Hackers vs. Microsoft
Earlier this year, the tech giant published a report on Russian cyber-espionage against targets in Ukraine.
Microsoft alleged that the intruders conducted different hacks along with disinformation operations and military attacks.
In one incident, the technology company said that hackers stole data from nuclear sector organizations to aid the military and state-run media in spreading disinformation that Ukraine was creating chemical and biological weapons.
Besides, the New Mexico-based firm announced that it would reduce the visibility of state-sponsored Russian media outlets.
It would be done by removing the application for RT from its Windows app store and only returning links from RT and Sputnik whenever a user intends to navigate those pages.