Tech companies including Meta, Google, Twitter, TikTok and Microsoft have agreed to follow the European Commission's new Code of Practice on Disinformation, which aims to fight the spread of disinformation online - or risk a healthy fine.
The new Code, which was published this week, builds on the Code of Practice 2018 with stronger and more granular commitments. Chiefly these are to:
Broaden participation in the Code, chiefly so smaller organisations are encouraged to sign up;
Cut financial incentives for spreading disinformation, by ensuring purveyors of disinformation cannot gain 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.