By Dan Frieth
Big Tech companies have signed a new version of the European Union’s “anti-disinformation” code. Some of the companies that signed include Google, Twitter, Meta, TikTok, and Twitch – but also smaller players such as Vimeo and Clubhouse.
There are 34 signatories in total:
- Crisp Thinking
- DOT Europe
- European Association of Communication Agencies (EACA)
- Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB Europe
- Kreativitet & Kommunikation
- Reporters without Borders (RSF)
- The Bright App
- The GARM Initiative
- VOST Europe
- World Federation of Advertisers (WFA)
Apple declined to sign.
The “code of practice on disinformation,” will require online platforms to show how they are tackling “harmful content.”
It will also require platforms to fight “harmful misinformation” by forming partnerships with fact-checkers and developing tools. They will be forced to include “indicators of trustworthiness” on information verified independently on hot-button issues like COVID-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Perhaps the most notable requirement is providing their efforts to tackle harmful content and disinformation on a country-by-country basis. The move was opposed by online platforms, but national regulators demanded that they need more specific data to better address the spread of disinformation.
The EU’s vice president for values and transparency Věra Jourová, who is in charge of the code, said “to respond to disinformation effectively, there is a need for the country- and language-specific data. We know disinformation is different in every country, and the big platforms will now have to provide meaningful data that would allow to understand better the situation on the country level.”
“Russia’s actions have informed to shape the anti-disinformation code,” she said. “Once the code is operational, we will be better prepared to address disinformation, also coming from Russia.”
The new code also requires online platforms to provide other data, including the AI systems deployed to tackle “disinformation,” number of bots removed, and the number of content moderators in each country.
The code applies immediately but allows for a six-month implementation period for platforms to adhere to the strict rules.
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