Google, TikTok, and others have agreed to the new EU anti-disinformation code
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- Mike Hanson
- June 15, 2022
According to an update to the Code Of Practice On Disinformation, tech companies will be required to disclose more information to the European Commission.
According to reports, Google, Meta, TikTok, and other digital firms have agreed to amendments to the EU’s anti-disinformation rule, which will require the businesses to share more data with the European Commission.
According to a confidential report seen by the Financial Times, a new code of practice has been signed by some of the world’s major computer corporations.
The ‘Code Of Practice On Disinformation’ is a voluntary agreement to follow a set of self-regulatory guidelines in the battle against disinformation. Google, Meta, TikTok, Twitter, Microsoft, and Mozilla are among the members of the group, which was founded in 2018.
The code has been updated multiple times since its inception, but the most recent change raises the stakes for signatories in terms of how much information they must reveal.
Here’s some background on the EU’s code of practice and what’s new in this series of revisions.
EU Code Of Practice On Disinformation
The EU established a code of conduct, which some internet companies signed on, to combat the spread of false information online.
Companies who sign the agreement are required to inform the European Commission about the steps they take to combat disinformation on their platforms.
Their obligations include things like maintaining the transparency of political ads, eliminating bogus accounts, and demonetizing accounts that promote incorrect information.
Each organization is required to report on the steps it has taken to comply with the Code of Practice’s promises.
Since last year, a strengthened version of the code has been in the works, and it looks like it will be released soon. Here’s what’s getting added to it.
A ‘Strengthened’ Code Of Practice Releasing Soon
According to Financial Time, the revised code has three main modifications.
The first is that each corporation will be required to publish data on their efforts to combat disinformation on a country-by-country basis. Currently, they offer data that is either worldwide or Europe-wide.
After a period of defiance, the corporations are giving up on regulators’ demands for more country-specific data. The purpose of sharing more granular data is to aid the Commission in identifying individuals disseminating disinformation inside specific countries.
The second major change is that businesses must now declare how they are deleting or reducing harmful content in advertising and sponsored content.
Third, corporations that sign up for the code of conduct will be required to create tools and forge relationships with fact-checking organizations, as well as include “indicators of trustworthiness” on independently verified material about key subjects.
The latest version is believed to feature 30 signatories, including the aforementioned IT corporations and civil society organizations, in addition to the new provisions. According to reports, the updated version will be launched on Thursday.
The code of practice is not enforced with punitive fines or penalties because all parties agree voluntarily. That could, however, change in the future.
Under the Digital Services Act, the European Commission hopes to evolve the code into a co-regulatory instrument. This will enable the code to be enforced by legislation.
Companies who break the regulations might face fines of up to 6% of global revenue if the Code Of Practice On Disinformation is enforced through the Digital Services Act.