Meta, Google, Twitter, TikTok, and Microsoft are among 34 organisations that have signed a strengthened Code of Practice on Disinformation meant to increase the fight against online disinformation.
”The strengthened Code aims to address the shortcomings of the previous Code, with stronger and more granular commitments and measures, which build on the operational lessons learnt in the past years”, the Commission says.
“This new anti-disinformation Code comes at a time when Russia is weaponising disinformation as part of its military aggression against Ukraine, but also when we see attacks on democracy more broadly”, says the Commission´s vice president Vera Jourová in a statement.
The new Code contains commitments to:
- Broaden participation: the Code is not just for big platforms, but also involves a variety of diverse players with a role in mitigating the spread of disinformation, and more signatories are welcome to join;
- Cut financial incentives for spreading disinformation by ensuring that purveyors of disinformation do not benefit from advertising revenues;
- Cover new manipulative behaviours such as fake accounts, bots or malicious deep fakes spreading disinformation;
- Empower users with better tools to recognise, understand and flag disinformation;
- Expand fact-checking in all EU countries and all its languages, while making sure fact-checkers are fairly rewarded for their work;
- Ensure transparent political advertising by allowing users to easily recognise political ads thanks to better labelling and information on sponsors, spend and display period;
- Better support researchers by giving them better access to platforms’ data;
- Evaluate its own impact through a strong monitoring framework and regular reporting from platforms on how they’re implementing their commitments;
- Set up a Transparency Centre and Task Force for an easy and transparent overview of the implementation of the Code, keeping it future-proof and fit for purpose.
- The Code aims to become recognised as a Code of Conduct under the Digital Services Act to mitigate the risks stemming from disinformation for Very Large Online Platforms.
The Commission said that together with the recently agreed Digital Services Act and the upcoming legislation on Transparency and targeting of political advertising, the strengthened Code of Practice is an essential part of the toolbox for fighting the spread of disinformation in the EU.
Signatories will have 6 months to implement the commitments and measures to which they have signed up. At the beginning of 2023, they will provide the Commission with their first implementation reports.