Tackling online disinformation: Commission proposes an EU-wide Code of Practice
The Commission is proposing a series of measures to tackle disinformation online. These include:
- A Code of Practice on Disinformation: By July, and as a first step, online platforms should develop and follow a common Code of Practice with the aim of:
1. Ensuring transparency about sponsored content, in particular political advertising, as well as restricting targeting options for political advertising and reducing revenues for purveyors of disinformation;
2. Providing greater clarity about the functioning of algorithms and enabling third-party verification;
3. Making it easier for users to discover and access different news sources representing alternative viewpoints;
4. Introducing measures to identify and close fake accounts and to tackle the issue of automatic bots;
5. Enabling fact-checkers, researchers and public authorities to continuously monitor online disinformation;
- An independent European network of fact-checkers: this will establish common working methods, exchange best practices, and work to achieve the broadest possible coverage of factual corrections across the EU; they will be selected from the EU members of the International Fact Checking Network which follows a strict International Fact Checking NetworkCode of Principles;
- A secure European online platform on disinformation to support the network of fact-checkers and relevant academic researchers with cross-border data collection and analysis, as well as access to EU-wide data;
- Enhancing media literacy: Higher level of media literacy will help Europeans to identify online disinformation and approach online content with a critical eye.To this end, the Commission will encourage fact-checkers and civil society organisations to provide educational material to schools and educators and organise a European Week of Media Literacy;
- Support for Member States in ensuring the resilience of elections against increasingly complex cyber threats, including online disinformation and cyber attacks;
- Promotion of voluntary online identification systems to improve the traceability and identification of suppliers of information and promote more trust and reliability in online interactions and in information and its sources;
- Support for quality and diversified information: The Commission is calling on Member States to scale up their support of quality journalism to ensure a pluralistic, diverse and sustainable media environment. The Commission will launch a call for proposals in 2018 for the production and dissemination of quality news content on EU affairs through data-driven news media;
- A Coordinated Strategic Communication Policy, drafted by the Commission services, combining current and future EU initiatives on online disinformation with those of Member States, will set out outreach activities aimed at countering false narratives about Europe and tackling disinformation within and outside the EU.
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