Google, Facebook, Twitter and other tech companies will have to take measures to counter deepfakes and fake accounts on their platforms or risk EU fines.
Media outlets reported on Monday that the European Commission will publish the updated code of practice on disinformation on Thursday as part of its crackdown against fake news.
The code will be linked to tough new EU rules known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) agreed by the 27-country European Union earlier this year which has a section on combating disinformation.
Accordingly, the tech companies that fail to live up to their obligations under the code can face fines of as much as 6% of their global turnover.
“From Brexit to the Russian war on Ukraine, over the past years, well-known social networks have allowed disinformation and destabilisation strategies to spread without restraint – even making money out of it. Disinformation cannot remain a source of revenue,” EU industry chief Thierry Breton, who is leading the EU’s crackdown on disinformation, told Reuters in a statement.
“The best antidote is to cut off its funding in a clear-cut manner. Platforms should no longer receive a single euro from spreading disinformation. Demonetisation is a cornerstone of the code of practice against disinformation,” he said.
Last April, Google and Twitter welcomed the EU’s new regulations that will police illegal content on social media giants like Meta’s platforms.
The European Parliament and EU member states reached a deal on the DSA that aims to monitor illegal and harmful content by getting platforms to rapidly take it down, or else risk potential multibillion-dollar fines.
A Google spokesperson said the company welcomes the DSA’s goals but added it wants to work with EU policymakers to “get the remaining technical details right to ensure the law works for everyone.”