30 September 2021 12:47
A new report published by DCU FuJo and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland examined how digital platforms implemented the EU’s monitoring programme for Covid-19 disinformation. The authors of the report include Provenance researchers Eileen Culloty, Kirsty Park and Jane Suiter.
The researchers found that the reports submitted by platforms were highly repetitive, often irrelevant, and generally failed to provide the data that was requested. It argues that more robust procedures for reporting and monitoring online disinformation need to be developed for the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation to become a more effective tool in fighting disinformation.
Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, TikTok and Twitter are all signatories to the self-regulatory Code of Practice on Disinformation. CovidCheck is the third monitoring report commissioned by the BAI, and prepared by FuJo, on the implementation of the Code in Ireland. This report provides analysis of the 47 monthly transparency reports, submitted by the signatories to the Code between August 2020 and April 2021 in response to the European Commission’s June 2020 communication on tackling COVID-19 disinformation. This analysis is supplemented by Irish case studies focused on Facebook and TikTok, and a review of the signatories’ transparency regarding the use of AI and automation in fighting COVID-19 disinformation.
The research found that while the code has proven a useful instrument in prompting signatories to respond to concerns about disinformation, there are shortcomings in relation to its implementation and scope. Researchers cited difficulties in assessing the timeliness, completeness and impact of the actions undertaken by the signatories. The report sets out nine recommendations for more effective reporting and monitoring of disinformation. The report recommends that:
The research for this report is part of a larger project implemented by the European Regulators Group for Audio-visual Media Services (ERGA) that is designed to assist the European Commission in monitoring the effectiveness of the Code. It follows two previous reports researched by FuJo: ElectCheck 2019 and CodeCheck 2020.
You can view the report here.
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