The EU’s new anti-disinformation code foresees sets of obligations for very large online platforms

The EU’s new anti-disinformation code imposes obligations on large online platforms to combat fake news, including demonetizing deceptive ads, sharing data with researchers, empowering users to identify misinformation, and promoting transparency. The code encourages collaboration among platforms to address issues like deep fakes and bot manipulation. The European Commission leads a task force to assess the code’s progress, with most signatories being major platforms. Concerns arise about smaller platforms like Telegram not being included despite being hubs for disinformation.

The EU’s strengthened code of practice on disinformation has come to light with 34 signatories jointly revising the 2018 version. In the new code, signatories need to commit to a list of obligations such as demonetising advertisements containing disinformation, making more data accessible to researchers, empowering users and fact-checkers to spot and flag nonfactual information and making public their implementation efforts via a transparency centre. The code also encourages cross-service cooperation among the signatories to reduce manipulative behaviours, such as malicious deep fakes, bot-driven amplification and impersonation. The full list of signatories can be found here. The European Commission has stressed the voluntary nature of this code, and that it welcomes yet does not endorse the result. The Commission will chair a task force composed of representatives of signatories, the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA), the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) and the European External Action Service to request for regular assessment of progress with regard to the code.

The current signatories contain mostly very large online platforms. POLITICO warns that this leaves smaller platforms such as Telegram unchecked, despite that disinformation spreads wildly there as well.

Source: European Commission, Euractiv, POLITICO