The European Commission is updating the Code of Practice to take stricter action against disinformation online.
The signatories to the code, including Google, Meta, TikTok, and other online platforms, commit to self-regulate and taking action against potentially harmful (including not necessarily illegal) online content.
This is now the second version of the code of conduct. The first was launched in 2018. The new Code of Practice on Disinformation, as the document is called, contains stricter measures and more general obligations. In the Commission’s view, it should above all be a reflection of what has been learned over the past four years.
Discussing the work on the code, the Commission noted last year that there is not enough transparency and accountability from the platforms and advertisers participating in this self-regulatory option. The updated code is now in effect, with a transition period of six months.
Some 34 organizations have signed up to the new code of conduct, including tech giants such as Google and Meta, but also the advertising group IAB Europe. A range of smaller platforms, such as Vimeo, are also participating, as are groups of fact-checkers.
The European Commission has been regulating internet platforms for some time but seems to have stepped up the fight in recent years and especially months. This is partly due to the war in Ukraine. Russian state channels such as Russia Today and Sputnik have already been banned in the EU for allegedly spreading propaganda.