The EU stands: technology companies and social networks will have to act against deepfakes and false accounts

The European Comission this determined to force social networks to end disinformation, fake accounts and deepfakes. To do this, it is going to approve new measures to combat them, which, according to Reuters, will have to be applied by technology companies such as Meta, Google, Twitter, Microsoft and TikTok. Companies that do not comply with these new rules could face quite large fines.

This update of the European Union regulations against disinformation will mean that technology companies and social networks will have to share key data with the authorities of each EU country to help fight against disinformation. Among other things, tech companies will have to make public how they remove and block harmful content. In addition, the new laws delve into what they understand by disinformation, with examples that clarify that it includes harmful content such as deepfakes, false videos in which people are shown doing or saying things that, in reality, they have never done .

The code that governs the fight against fake and biased news in the EU, known as Code of practice on disinformation (Code of practice on disinformation), was introduced in 2018, but on a voluntary basis. Now it will be a joint regulation scheme, which will be signed by some thirty entities. Among them are several of the main technology companies and various civil society groups in the European Union.

According to the code, technology companies and social networks will have to improve the work of informing the public. For this they will have to develop tools and reach agreements with fact-checking entities to combat disinformation. In addition, among other things, measures to combat false information could include the removal of propagandizing and the addition of so-called indicators of confidence in independently verified information.

On the other hand, the code will be strengthened with the support of the Digital Services Act of 2022, which establishes that companies that do not comply will face fines of up to 6% of their annual income. An amount that, in the case of the big technology companies, would not be negligible. In addition, technology companies will not be able to adopt a single solution for all of Europe, but will have to show, country by country, how they are fighting disinformation.

Vera Jourova, Vice President for Values ​​and Transparency of the European Unionhe recalled in statements to the Financial Times, that in the EU they know that «disinformation is different in each country, and the big platforms will have to offer meaningful data, which allows us to better understand the situation at the country level«.

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