The strengthened Code of Practice contains 44 commitments and 128 specific measures, in the following areas:
2. Scrutiny of Ad Placements
The strengthened Code aims to ensure that purveyors of disinformation do not benefit from advertising revenues. Signatories commit to stronger measures avoiding the placement of advertising next to disinformation, as well as the dissemination of advertising containing disinformation. The Code also sets up a more effective cooperation among the players of the advertising sector, allowing stronger joint action.
3. Political Advertising
Recognising the importance of political advertising in shaping public life, the strengthened Code commits signatories to put in place stronger transparency measures, allowing users to easily recognise political ads by providing more efficient labelling, committing to reveal the sponsor, ad spend and display period. Moreover, signatories commit to putting in place efficient and searchable ad libraries for political advertising.
4. Integrity of Services
The Code will strengthen the measures to reduce manipulative behaviour used to spread disinformation and establishes a stronger cooperation among signatories to fight the challenges related to such techniques. A cross-service understanding of unpermitted manipulative behaviors and practices to spread disinformation will be agreed among signatories. They will be also required to periodically review the list of tactics, techniques and procedures employed by malicious actors, and will implement clear policies, covering the range of behaviors and practices identified.
5. Empowering Users
Users will be better protected from disinformation through enhanced tools to recognise, understand and flag disinformation, to access authoritative sources, and through media literacy initiatives. In particular, the Code will ensure that safe design practices are put in place to limit the spread of disinformation and ensure more transparency of their recommender systems, adapting them to limit the propagation of disinformation.
6. Empowering the Research Community
The Code foresees that online platforms provide better support to research on disinformation. Researchers will have a better and wider access to platforms’ data. This means ensuring automated access to non-personal, anonymised, aggregated or manifestly made public data, and working towards putting in place a governance structure to simplify access to data requiring additional scrutiny.
7. Empowering the Fact-Checking Community
The new Code will extend fact-checking coverage across all EU Member States and languages and ensure that platforms will make a more consistent use of fact-checking on their services. Moreover, the Code works towards ensuring fair financial contributions for fact-checkers’ work and better access to fact-checkers to information facilitating their daily work.
10. Monitoring of the Code
The Code comes with a strong monitoring framework to measure the Code’s implementation throughout the EU and at the Member State level. By the beginning of 2023, signatories will provide to the Commission the first baseline reports on their implementation of the Code. Subsequently, Very Large Online Platforms, as defined in the Digital Services Act (DSA), will report every six months while other Signatories will report on a yearly basis.
Reporting on the service’s response during a period of crisis
The Code foresees cooperation and coordination between signatories in crisis situations and, upon request, to provide the Commission with information and data, including ad-hoc specific reports and specific chapters within the regular monitoring.