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Google, Facebook, Twitter to Sign EU’s Code of Practice 

Aside from the big companies, the EU expects around 30 bodies to sign up the code of practice.

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Just a few days after the Nigerian government issued its code of practice to online platforms, the European Union has followed suit although more specified. 

Generally, the goal is to ensure that falsehood, misleading information in advertising, hate speeches, and cyberbullying are addressed while online platforms start taking responsibility. 

According to reports, the EU on Thursday presented a code of practice to big companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other social media platforms. 

The guideline is a reinforced revision of the code originally launched in 2018 — aims to push the platforms to more urgently and systematically crack down on false advertising, demonetize accounts spreading disinformation and boost fact-checking.

Aside from the big companies, the EU expects around 30 bodies to sign the code of practice.

TechEconomy understands that the big companies had input into the drafting of the updated code along with fact-checking outfits and media watchdogs such as Reporters Without Borders.

It was to be presented Thursday by Vera Jourova, EU Commissioner for Transparency, and Thierry Breton, Internal Market Commissioner.

The new code of practice contains some 40 commitments, around double the number in the previous version, along with indicators to measure how well they are being met.

While the previous text relied on self-regulation, the new one holds the biggest platforms — those with at least 45 million users in the EU — to binding measures set out in the bloc’s Digital Services Act (DSA).

The DSA, in the process of being adopted, requires big online companies to reduce risks linked to disinformation or face fines that could go as high as six percent of the global turnover.

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By signing up to the code, they can show they are taking “risk-mitigating” measures demanded by the DSA.

One of the main innovations in the code is to cut advertising platforms off from receiving revenue from ads placed on sites carrying disinformation.

“The platforms shouldn’t be getting even a single euro from spreading disinformation,” Thierry Breton said.

“From Brexit to the Russian war in Ukraine — over the past years well-known social networks have allowed disinformation and destabilization strategies to spread without restraint, even making money out of it,” he said.

Justice Okamgba functions as CONTENT STRATEGIST for TechEconomy.ng with penchant for content planning, development, analysis, management, and measurement. Contact: [email protected]

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