ERGA and EDMO meet to further strengthen cooperation in meeting disinformation challenges

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24 03 2022
Brussels, 24 March 2022
Press release

ERGA and EDMO meet to further strengthen cooperation in meeting disinformation challenges

ERGA Chair, Karim Ibourki, ERGA Vice-Chair, Giacomo Lasorella, and Chair of ERGA Subgroup 3 dedicated to disinformation, Ľuboš Kukliš, have met in Florence, Italy, with Miguel Poiares Maduro, Chair of EDMO Executive Board, Paula Gori, EDMO Secretary General, Elda Brogi, Member of EDMO Executive Board and other EDMO representatives to create synergy between ERGA and EDMO in light of the strengthened Code of Practice on Disinformation to be introduced soon. As envisaged in the European Commission’s Guidance on Strengthening the Code of Practice on Disinformation, ERGA and EDMO, together with the European Commission, the European External Action Service and the Code’s signatories shall form part of a permanent task-force dedicated to evolving and adopting the Code in response to future technological, societal, market, and legislative developments.

Disinformation remains a serious concern at EU level. The current situation in respect of the war against Ukraine and the disruptive measures aimed at destabilising our democracies highlights the urgency to strongly safeguard freedom of speech, media freedom and pluralism as well as qualitative journalism, while also implementing effective mechanisms to minimize the risks associated with the spread of disinformation.

A key tool of the European Union in tackling this issue is the Code of Practice on Disinformation. This self-regulatory tool brings together key industry players, including major social media companies and advertisers, which voluntarily committed to a certain range of obligations. Since 2018, ERGA has been very active in monitoring the effectiveness of the Code and has published several reports identifying its shortcomings. ERGA has also provided recommendations on how to strengthen the Code, calling in particular for more transparency and for a more effective monitoring framework.

Since the launch of the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) in June 2020, there have been regular exchanges between the two bodies. Cooperation among independent European national regulators and researchers, fact-checkers, media literacy experts and media practitioners, for whom EDMO is an important hub, is crucial to the effective implementation and monitoring of the Code’s obligations and to tackle disinformation issues. It is therefore necessary to take into account a variety of perspectives whilst guaranteeing a framework which is independent from political actors and the industry in guaranteeing a proper (co-)regulatory approach to disinformation. ERGA as a network of independent NRAs can play a key role in ticking those boxes and could only benefit from EDMO’s perspectives and expertise.

“In the current context of crisis, we need a European common response to fight disinformation and create a safe media and online environment. The collaboration between media regulators and EDMO within such taskforce is crucial to ensure our vigilance in the European Union”, said Karim Ibourki, ERGA’s Chair.

About the Code of Practice on Disinformation

The Code of Practice on Disinformation is the first time worldwide that industry has agreed, on a voluntary basis, to self-regulatory standards to fight disinformation. It aims at achieving the objectives set out by the Commission's Communication presented in April 2018 by setting a wide range of commitments, from transparency in political advertising to the closure of fake accounts and demonetization of purveyors of disinformation. It includes an annex identifying best practices that signatories will apply to implement its commitments.
The Commission presented a Guidance to strengthen the Code of Practice on disinformation in May 2021. The Commission guidance shows how the Code of Practice on Disinformation could be strengthened to become a more effective tool for countering disinformation. The Code has provided a framework for a structured dialogue between relevant stakeholders, the first one of its kind worldwide, to ensure greater transparency and accountability of platforms’ policies on disinformation.

The Guidance calls for reinforcing the Code of Practice on Disinformation in the following areas to ensure a complete and consistent application across stakeholders and EU countries:

 Larger participation with tailored commitments
 Better demonetising of disinformation
 Political advertising
 Ensuring the integrity of services
 Improving the empowerment of users
 Increasing the coverage of fact-checking and providing increased access to data to research
 Creating a more robust monitoring framework

See more

About ERGA:

The European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA) consists of the national regulatory authorities in the field of audiovisual media services. ERGA advises the European Commission and facilitates cooperation between the regulatory bodies in the EU. Mr Karim Ibourki, President of the Belgian CSA (Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel) is the current Chairperson of ERGA.