EU: Meta, Google and Twitter commit to better fight “fake news”
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Meta, Alphabet’s Google, Twitter and Microsoft agreed on Thursday to toughen their policy against “fake news”, under pressure from the European Union, which is now threatening sanctions for not respecting the version revised version of its “Disinformation Code of Practice” introduced in 2018.
About 30 signatories, including advertising agencies, have pledged to comply with these regulations, the European Commission said.
The signatories agree to strengthen their efforts to combat fake sites, fake accounts and political advertising. A breach of the “Code” can result in fines of up to 6% of a company’s global turnover, the EU executive said, confirming recent information from Reuters.
The companies, which include TikTok and Twitch, Amazon’s esports live streaming platform, have six months to comply with their commitments and will be required to submit a progress report in early 2023.
“The new Code shows that Europe has learned the lessons and that we are no longer naïve,” Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova told a press conference.
According to her, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic and Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union have accelerated the EU’s crusade against “fake news”.
The sanctions could go as far as banning companies from accessing the European market, said Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market.
“If the rules are systematically flouted, we can also consider banning them from our information space,” he said at the press conference.
The Association of Commercial Television and Video-on-Demand Services in Europe (ACT) found the updated code to have serious shortcomings.
“The review does not offer concrete commitments to limit ‘unacceptable manipulative behaviour’. The commitments go no further than a general statement to follow the law, which is obvious and does not require a code,” a- she declared.
(Foo Yun Chee report, French version Augustin Turpin, edited by Sophie Louet)