European Union warns Google, Facebook and Twitter against cracking down on deepfakes or risking harmful consequences: report

Reuters news agency reported that the European Union had warned tech giants Google, Facebook and Twitter to tackle deepfakes or be prepared to face adverse consequences.

As part of its crackdown on fake news, the European Commission is expected to publish the updated code of practice on disinformation on Thursday.

With shared responsibility between regulators and code signatories, the voluntary code, introduced in 2018, will now become a co-regulatory mechanism.

Signatories will have to tackle updated code that spells out examples of manipulative behavior such as deepfakes and fake accounts.

According to an EU document, “Relevant signatories will adopt, enforce and implement clear policies regarding objectionable manipulative behavior and practices on their services, based on the latest evidence on conduct and tactics, techniques and procedures. (TTP) employed by malicious actors”.

When used in a political context, deepfakes, which are hyper-realistic forgeries created by computer techniques, have sparked alarm around the world.

Read also | Digital weaponry: Russia uses deepfakes to spread false information against Ukraine, report says

The Digital Services Act (DSA), signed by the 27 countries of the European Union earlier this year, will be linked to this code.

Based on the DSA’s rules, companies that fail to meet their obligations under the code can face fines of up to 6% of their worldwide turnover.

In order to ensure more transparency on political advertising, signatories will also have to take measures to combat advertising containing disinformation.

(With agency contributions)

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