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Tech co's agree on self-regulatory standards to help the EU fight online disinformation

A group of tech companies including Google, Facebook and Mozilla have agreed to abide by new standards set out by the European Commission in the battle against the dissemination of fake news across the EU. It is the first time worldwide that industry agrees, on a voluntary basis, to self-regulatory standards to fight disinformation. Representatives of the media and civil society however have criticised the code for its lacks of common approach and of compliance or enforcement tools and hence possibility to monitor the implementation process.

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Article
26 September 2018

Code of Practice on Disinformation

Author: European Commission

Representatives of online platforms, leading social networks, advertisers and advertising industry agreed on a self-regulatory Code of Practice to address the spread of online disinformation and fake news.

This is the first time worldwide that industry agrees, on a voluntary basis, to self-regulatory standards to fight disinformation. The Code aims at achieving the objectives set out by the Commission's Communication presented in April 2018 by setting a wide range of commitments, from transparency in political advertising to the closure of fake accounts and demonetization of purveyors of disinformation.

The Code includes an annex identifying best practices that signatories will apply to implement the Code's commitments... The Code and other initiatives set forth by the Commission are essential steps in ensuring transparent, fair and trustworthy online campaign activities ahead of the European elections in spring 2019.

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Article
26 September 2018

Disinformation crackdown: Tech giants commit to EU code of practice

Author: Samuel Stolton, Euractiv

A group of tech giants including Google, Facebook and Mozilla have agreed to abide by landmark new standards set out by the European Commission in the battle against the dissemination of fake news across the EU...

“This is the first time that the industry has agreed on a set of self-regulatory standards to fight disinformation worldwide, on a voluntary basis,” Digital Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said...

The code of practice covers five areas of competence, with the commitment to disrupt advertising revenues from companies that spread disinformation, tackle fake accounts and online bots, make political advertising more transparent, allow users to report instances of disinformation more easily, and provide better frameworks to monitor the spread of disinformation.

The move follows an action plan put forward by the Commission in April, which introduced the idea of platforms to implement self-regulatory tools to tackle the spread and impact of online disinformation in Europe...

However, ... representatives of the media and civil society... [have] observe[d] that the code includes “no common approach, no meaningful commitments, no measurable objectives or KPIs, no compliance or enforcement tools and hence no possibility to monitor the implementation process”.

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