The European Union (EU) warned Twiiter, which left the non-mandatory rules of practice prepared by the union to combat disinformation, that it could not escape its responsibilities.
Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Industry, made statements after Twitter left the EU’s voluntary code of practice for digital platforms. “Twitter departs from the EU’s voluntary code of enforcement against disinformation. But Twitter’s obligations remain. You can run, but you can’t hide.” Breton pointed out that the fight against disinformation within the scope of the Digital Services Law will be a legal obligation beyond voluntary commitments in EU countries as of 25 August. Breton said EU teams will be ready to enforce the strict rules once the new law comes into force.
CODE OF PRACTICE AGAINST DISINFORMATION The voluntary application code, prepared by the EU against the increasing disinformation with the Covid-19 epidemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, was signed by more than 30 platforms last year. The new code, signed by major platforms like Meta, Google, Twitter, TikTok, and Microsoft, included broader commitments and safeguards against online disinformation. Digital platforms had committed to further fight against disinformation. The reinforced code of practice included more than 40 commits and over 100 specific measures. Disinformation spreaders not benefiting from ad revenues, avoiding fake accounts, bots or artificially montage video manipulation, providing better tools to identify and flag disinformation, increased fact-checking, transparency of political ads, explicit identification of ad sponsors, reporting of platforms’ implementation of commitments, center to assess code compliance was included in the measures.
GIVEN FOR 6 MONTHS It was stated that digital platforms will fulfill these commitments within 6 months, and a progress report will be prepared on the subject at the beginning of 2023. Digital platforms submitted their progress reports to the EU earlier this year. The EU found the progress report presented by Twitter insufficient. On the other hand, platforms, including Twitter, will be subject to stricter rules and strictly controlled by the EU as of August 25 under the Digital Services Law. Under the new rules, fines up to 6 percent of their global turnover can be imposed on digital platforms that violate the rules. In case of repeated violations, the activities of the said digital platforms in the EU may be terminated.