Two years ago, some of the world’s biggest tech companies: Google, Twitter and Facebook as well as others agreed to a self regulatory code of practice aimed at battling fake news and misinformation on each platform. But with the current climate, the European Commission has urged these tech giants to try even more in other to successfully combat this.
There have been innumerable fake stories and rumors spread across the internet through social media platforms but companies such as Twitter and Facebook had partnered with medical associations in order to label what is wrong or what is right.
Companies such as Mozilla and trade bodies for the advertising industry all signed up to the code in 2018 in an attempt to stave off more heavy-handed regulation and the recent joiner includes popular Chinese video sharing platform TikTok and Microsoft.
During the first operational year of the code, there are reportedly a number of shortcomings in the code following the assessment according to the commission in a report gotten by Reuters.
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“These can be grouped in four broad categories: inconsistent and incomplete application of the code across platforms and member states, lack of uniform definitions, existence of several gaps in the coverage of the code commitments, and limitations intrinsic to the self-regulatory nature of the code,” the report said.
The commission vice president for values and transparency, Vera Jourova, called for more action to counter new risks.
Vice President of the Commission on value and transparency Vera Jourova called for more actions to further battle the new risks of fake news being spread across the internet by conspiracy theorists.
“As we also witness new threats and actors the time is ripe to go further and propose new measures. The platforms need to become more accountable and transparent. They need to open up and provide better access to data, among others,” Jourova said.
Jourova is currently working on a European Democracy Action Plan to make democracy more resilient to digital threats. The commission is on the verge of proposing new rules which it calls the Digital Service Act by the end of the year which will further give more responsibilities and liability to social media companies for contents posted on their platforms.