Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

The Commission publishes today the new reports by Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, TikTok and Mozilla, signatories of the Code of Practice on Disinformation. They provide an overview of the evolution of the measures taken in January 2021.

Google expanded its search feature providing information and a list of authorised vaccines in user’s location in response to related searches in 23 EU countries, and TikTok applied the COVID-19 vaccine tag to over five thousand videos in the European Union. Microsoft co-sponsored the #VaxFacts campaign launched by NewsGuard providing a free browser extension protecting from coronavirus vaccines misinformation. Additionally, Mozilla reported that curated authoritative content from its Pocket (read-it-later) application gathered more than 5.8 billion impressions across the EU.

Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said: “Online platforms need to take responsibility to prevent harmful and dangerous disinformation, both domestic and foreign, from undermining our common fight against the virus and the efforts towards vaccinationBut platforms’ efforts alone will not suffice. It is also crucial to strengthen cooperation with public authorities, media and civil society to provide reliable information.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, added: “Disinformation poses a threat that needs to be taken seriously, and platforms’ response must be diligent, robust and efficient. This is particularly crucial now, when we are acting to win the industrial battle for all Europeans to have a fast access to safe vaccines.”

The monthly reporting programme has been recently extended and will continue until June as the crisis still unfolds. It is a deliverable under the 10 June 2020 Joint Communication to ensure accountability towards the public and discussions are ongoing on how to further improve the process. You will find more information and the reports here.