March 2. 2024. 2:36

The Daily

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Code of Practice on Disinformation: New Transparency Centre provides insights and data on online disinformation for the first time

For the first time with these baseline reports, platforms are providing insight and extensive initial data such as: how much advertising revenue flowing to disinformation actors was prevented; number or value of political ads accepted and labelled or rejected; instances of manipulative behaviours detected (i.e. creation and use of fake accounts); and information about the impact of fact-checking; and on member states level.

Values and Transparency Vice-President Věra Jourová said: “The publication of the first reports of the revamped anti-disinformation Code is an important milestone in the fight against disinformation and I am pleased to see how most signatories, big and small, are engaging. I’m glad to see for the first time reporting on the country-level, but more work is needed when it comes to providing access to data for researchers. We must have more transparency and cannot rely on the online platforms alone for the quality of information. They need to be independently verifiable. I am disappointed to see that Twitter report lags behind others and I expect a more serious commitment to their obligations stemming from the Code. Russia is engaged also in a full-blown disinformation war and the platforms need to live up to their responsibilities.”

Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said: “Today’s reports mark a step in the battle against online disinformation. It comes as no surprise that the degree of quality vary greatly according to the resources companies have allocated to this project. It is in the interest of all signatories to abide by their commitment to fully implement the Code of practice against disinformation, in anticipation of the obligations under the Digital Services Act. By providing full access to today’s reports, the Transparency Centre gives the opportunity to everyone – including researchers and NGOs – to delve into the available data and push for ongoing improvement and accountability.”

All signatories have submitted their reports on time, using an agreed harmonised reporting template aiming to address all commitments and measures they signed onto. This is however not fully the case for Twitter, whose report is short of data, with no information on commitments to empower the fact-checking community. The next set of reports from major online platform signatories is due in July, providing further insight on the Code’s implementation and more stable data covering six months.

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