Following guidelines published in 2021, the European Commission has strengthened its Code of Practice on Disinformation that it should be updated to take into account events such as the COVID-19 epidemic and Russia’s war with Ukraine.
The latest version is based on the core code of practice established in 2018, which set out several new commitments by both the technology platform and the wider industry to better combat misinformation online.
Demonetizing confusing distribution; Ensuring transparency of political advertising; Maximize cooperation with fact-checkers; And signatories are committed to providing researchers with better access to data.
“The Commission now has a very important commitment to reduce the impact of online propaganda and to make it a much more powerful tool for measuring how it is implemented in all countries and in all its languages across the EU,” said Vera Zorova, Vice President European Commission for Values and Transparency. Said as part of a press release.
The code was initially signed by 34 parties, including major social media platforms such as Meta, Twitter and Tiktok, and technology giants including Adobe, Google and Microsoft. Amazon was a significant missing.
The code will be enforced through the Digital Services Act, part of EU law that was approved in April 2022 to better protect European users from online confusion and illegal content, products and services.
The signatories will have six months to implement the measures they have signed and will have to submit their first implementation report to the commission by early 2023. A newly formed task force will then meet six months apart to monitor and adapt. Commitment in terms of technological, social, market, and legal development.
Thierry Breton, the European Commission’s internal market commissioner, said in a statement that spreading confusion should never be a financially viable practice and that online platforms need to be strengthened to address the problem, especially in the area of funding.
“Large platforms that repeatedly break the code and do not properly implement risk mitigation measures run the risk of being fined up to 6% of global turnover,” he said.
The Strengthened Code of Practice contains 44 commitments and 128 specific provisions that can be broadly divided into the following areas:
- Reducing financial incentives to spread confusion
- Transparency of political advertising
- Ensuring the integrity of the service
- User empowerment
- Empowering researchers
- Fact-checking community empowerment
- Establish a transparency center and task force
- Strengthening an observation structure
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