New reports show progress and substantial remaining gaps on actions taken by the signatories of the Code of Practice on Disinformation

Today, the European Commission publishes the second set of reports on actions taken by the signatories of the Code of Practice on Disinformation to fight false and misleading coronavirus-related information. The reports provide a good overview of actions taken. However, substantial gaps remain in the data provided. Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said: “We see that signatories continue their efforts to promote authoritative content and limit the distribution of content containing false or misleading information on online channels. More work remains to be done to increase transparency and improve accountability. For this, we call on all relevant stakeholders such as other online platforms and advertising companies to join the Code.” Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, added: “The reporting by the platforms is going in the right direction; they acknowledge their critical responsibility in the fight against disinformation, but we will continue to closely monitor their efforts and engage with them.” The reports by online platforms are published monthly, as announced by the Commission in the 10 June 2020 Joint Communication. The latest edition covers actions taken by the participating platforms in August and also includes the reports of the trade association signatories from the advertising sector. They show that platforms kept increasing the visibility of authoritative information sources, demoting and removing content violating their updated terms of services and stepped up efforts to block or remove advertising that exploits the crisis. However, more complete, targeted and detailed quantitative data must be provided. The Commission will deliver on its comprehensive approach by presenting two complementary initiatives by the end of the year: a European Democracy Action Plan and a Digital Services Act package. Furthermore, the European Digital Media Observatory, operational since 1 June, will help provide oversight of the platforms’ policies and the digital media ecosystem in cooperation with a multidisciplinary community composed of academic researchers, fact-checkers, media practitioners and other relevant stakeholders thanks to a €9 million call, open until 5 November.