The rise of disinformation on social media and other digital platforms has become a serious societal issue with significant consequences. False information can quickly spread across the internet, eroding trust in public institutions, causing public health concerns, and even interfering with democratic elections. One of the biggest challenges in combatting disinformation is the sheer volume of false information circulating on digital platforms. As social media and other online platforms continue to grow in popularity, the problem of disinformation is only becoming more urgent.
The European Commission (DG CNECT) together with other European institutions have taken steps to combat disinformation by developing a Code of Practice on Disinformation in 2018, and a revised version of the Code in 2022. Signatories of the Code include some of the world’s largest online platforms, including Meta and Google, which commit to promoting increased transparency, accountability, and responsibility when it comes to the content they host. Measures in the Code include (among other priorities) increasing the safety of their data infrastructure, identifying false and misleading information shared through their services, and maintaining Transparency Centre web portals to share relevant updates on their activities to combat the spread of disinformation.
In order to ensure that Signatories of the revised Code of Practice are achieving these objectives, DG CNECT has launched a new project in March 2023 to develop a monitoring methodology for the implementation of the Code, the aim of processing, integrating, and evaluating data shared by online platforms across all EU Member States. Together with research consortium partners at Kantar Public and Asterisk, Visionary Analytics is contributing to the development of the Monitoring Framework that applies to each of the Pillars of the Code. Specifically, our role will focus on the Empowerment of the Research Community, providing an analysis of how platforms make real-time, non-personal data available to researchers who are studying disinformation. The project is expected to run for one year, during which our team will work with new reports submitted by Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and other Signatories in July 2023 and January 2024, respectively.
The development of this monitoring framework is a crucial step in the fight against disinformation. By helping to foster meaningful relationships between online platforms and the research community, we can work towards a more trustworthy and reliable online environment. The Visionary Analytics team is excited to be working alongside our research consortium partners on this important and timely project, and look forward to sharing our progress with the wider community.
Stay tuned for updates on our monitoring framework for the Code of Practice on Disinformation!