On January 29th, 2019, the European Commission published the first reports submitted by signatories of the Code of Practice against disinformation , signed in October 2018. In the official Press Release issued, the Commission “welcomes the progress made, it also calls on signatories to intensify their efforts in the run up to the 2019 EU elections”.
Key take outs of the report show that
- Facebook has taken or is taking measures towards the implementation of all of the commitments but now needs to provide greater clarity on how the social network will deploy its consumer empowerment tools and boost cooperation with fact-checkers and the research community across the whole EU.
- Google has taken steps to implement all its commitments, in particular those designed to improve the scrutiny of ad placements, transparency of political advertisement and providing users with information, tools and support to empower them in their online experience. However, some tools are only available in a small number of Member States. The Commission also calls on the online search engine to support research actions on a wider scale.
- Twitter has prioritized actions against malicious actors, closing fake or suspicious accounts and automated systems/bots. Still, more information is needed on how this will restrict persistent purveyors of disinformation from promoting their tweets.
- Mozilla is about to launch an upgraded version of its browser to block cross-site tracking by default but the online browser should be more concrete on how this will limit the information revealed about users’ browsing activities, which could potentially be used for disinformation campaigns.