Code of Practice against #Disinformation – Commission recognizes platforms’ efforts ahead of #EuropeanElections

| May 20, 2019

The European Commission has published the reports and analysis of the progress made in April 2019 by Facebook, Google and Twitter to fight disinformation. The three online platforms are signatories to the Code of Practice against disinformation and have committed to report monthly on measures taken ahead of the European Parliament elections in May 2019.

Digital Single Market Vice President Andrus Ansip, Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Commissioner Věra Jourová, Security Union Commissioner Julian King, andDigital Economy and Society Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said in a joint statement: “We recognize the continued progress made by Facebook, Google and Twitter on their commitments to increase transparency and protect the integrity of the upcoming elections. We welcome the robust measures that all three platforms have taken against manipulative behaviour on their services, including coordinated disinformation operations. They have also provided data on measures to improve the scrutiny of ad placements. However, more needs to be done to strengthen the integrity of their services, including advertising services.

“Moreover, the data provided still lacks the level of detail necessary to allow for an independent and accurate assessment of how the platforms’ policies have actually contributed to reducing the spread of disinformation in the EU. All three signatories have now created publicly accessible political ad libraries and enabled searches through APIs, which is a clear improvement. We regret however that Google and Twitter were not able to develop and implement policies for the identification and public disclosure of issue-based ads, which can be sources of divisive public debate during elections, hence prone to disinformation.

“Looking beyond the European elections, all signatories should now step up their efforts to broaden cooperation with fact checkers in all Member States as well as to empower users and the research community. In particular, online platforms need to put in practice their broader set of commitments under the Code of Practice, notably by engaging with traditional media to develop transparency and trustworthiness indicators for information sources so that users are offered a fair choice of relevant, verified information.”

The full statement as well as the details on the monthly reports by the platforms are available here.

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