Companies including Big Tech must work on stopping monetization of disinformation, following boosted code of practice on disinformation presented by the European Commission. The commission calls for stronger commitments by the signatories and foresees a broader participation to the Code.
“Based on a robust monitoring framework and clear performance indicators, signatories should reduce financial incentives to disinformation, empower users to take an active role in preventing its spread, better cooperate with fact-checkers across EU Member States and languages, and provide a framework for access to data for researchers.”
The commission specially stresses the need to reinforce the combat against misinformation by:
- The Commission encourages established and emerging platforms in the EU, stakeholders in online advertising and private messaging services to join the Code.
- Platforms and players in the online advertising ecosystem must take responsibility and better work together to defund disinformation, notably by exchanging information on disinformation ads.
- The strengthened Code should provide a comprehensive coverage of the current and emerging forms of manipulative behaviour used to spread disinformation and include tailored commitments to ensure transparency and accountability of measures taken to reduce its impact.
- Users need access to tools to better understand and safely navigate online. The signatories should provide their users with accessible, effective tools and procedures to flag disinformation. Users, whose content or accounts have been subject to measures taken in response to such flagging, should have access to an appropriate and transparent mechanism to appeal and seek redress. The strengthened code should also enhance the visibility of reliable information of public interest, and warn users who interacted with content marked as false by fact-checkers.
- The new Code should include better cooperation with fact-checkers and increase coverage across EU countries and languages. The strengthened Code should also include a robust framework for access to data for researchers.
- The strengthened Code should include an improved monitoring framework measuring the results and impact of actions taken. Platforms should regularly report on the measures taken. Information and data should be provided by the platforms in standardised formats, with Member State breakdowns.
The Commission says it will also propose this year a legislation to improve the transparency of political advertising.