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EU Launches Updated ‘Code of Practice on Disinformation’ Which Will See Platforms Implement New Measures

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EU Launches Updated 'Code of Practice on Disinformation' Which Will See Platforms Implement New Measures

Meta, Google, TikTok and more have all signed on to the European Commission’s updated ‘Code of Practice on Disinformation’, which aims to increase enforcement action against concerted efforts to mislead users through various types of online manipulation.

As explained by the European Commission:

Today, Commission welcomes the publication of the strengthened Code of Practice on Disinformation. The 34 signatories, such as platforms, tech companies and civil society followed the 2021 Commission Guidance, and took into account the lessons learned from the COVID 19 crisis and Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.”

The new reinforced agreement builds on the initial Code of Practice that was launched in 2018, which was the first official, cross-jurisdictional effort to combat the influence of online disinformation operations.

Though the definitions here are important – ‘misinformation’ is incorrect or misleading information, which can often occur unintentionally, when, for example, a user shares a false article that they believe to be correct. ‘Disinformation’ is a deliberate, coordinated effort to deceive – which is an important distinction from a legal enforcement standpoint, and a key pillar of this new Code.

The updated agreement aims to tackle disinformation programs by reducing financial incentives for such programs, empowering users with better tools to recognize, understand and flag disinformation, and expanding fact-checking operations to expedite detection and enforcement.

The Code will also now cover deep fakes and evolving forms of manipulation, which will see the platforms develop coordinated approaches to tackling such activities, which could be a big step towards improving detection and response.

The Code also includes measures to ensure transparency in political advertisingby allowing users to easily recognize political ads thanks to better labeling and information on sponsors, spend and display period’.

“Signatories will have 6 months to implement the commitments and measures to which they have signed up. At the beginning of 2023, they will provide the Commission with their first implementation reports.”

It’s a big step, which could have a major positive impact in tackling such activity, with each of the platforms now being held accountable in enforcing these elements.

Meta has welcomed the new Code announcement.

Meta, of course, has long been pushing for broader industry regulation, in order to take the enforcement onus of the platforms in isolation.

Meta, as with all platforms, would prefer to be more hands off, and let users communicate freely, within legal bounds, but in recent times it’s been forced into making difficult decisions about what is and is not allowed within its apps, which has led, at times, to significant user backlash.

New regulations like this are a step towards broader oversight, which will level the playing field for all platforms, while also removing the decisions on rule-breaking posts from its own moderation teams.

It’ll be interesting to see how the new regulations are enacted, and the impact that then has – and how the EU looks to respond to new issues and concerns in real-time.

There are always inherent risks in such, as it comes down to who’s deciding what is and isn’t correct. But the focus on ‘disinformation’ specifically limits the scope in this respect, honing in on clearly deliberate, concerted programs designed to deceive users for a defined objective.

It could be a major step, which could then see similar expanded to more regions.

You can read the new EU Code of Practice on Disonformation here.



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Social media businesses look out, here comes Chat GPT

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Social media businesses look out, here comes Chat GPT

XiaoIce has pioneered a cutting-edge artificial intelligence system designed to create emotional bonds with its 660 million users worldwide. — © AFP

From the explosion of TikTok to the fall of Twitter, the social media industry has experienced some seismic changes over the past 12 months. Next year promises to be no different. How are those who rely on social media for businesses purposes to navigate through the turmoil ahead?

Luke Lintz, CEO of Highkey Enterprises, a multinational social media marketing firm, has told Digital Journal about the top three social media trends he expects to see in 2023.

Short-Form Video Content Will Dominate

Lintz observes the rise in video shorts and sees this trend as one that is likely to continue. Here he says: “The number one trend in the digital marketing landscape next year will be the emphasis and prioritization of short-form video content.”

This is because: “Social Media platforms’ competition for attention with short-form content has been the epicentre of 2022 and will continue to be the focus in 2023. People’s attention spans are ever-decreasing, and social media users quite often don’t have time to sit down and watch a 10-minute video and would rather watch a short video tailored to what they like to watch rather than a picture.”

Using example, Lintz finds: “This is why we have seen Instagram change its newsfeed and algorithms to favour Instagram Reels content in competition with Tik Tok. We have also seen a massive prioritization of YouTube Shorts in their fight against the lost attention to Tik Tok. In 2023 we will see very large incentive problems for top YouTube shorts, Tik Tok and Instagram Reel creators to incentivize the best creators to stay on the platform. For creators and business owners, they must strategize ways to incorporate short-form video content into their content plans to stay relevant.”

Social Media Users Will Turn Their Back On The Algorithm

This could be the age of new media. Lintz says: “Burnt out by the pressure of chasing “likes” and constantly trying to add new followers, a growing share of social media users will turn to smaller platforms in 2023. Sites like Discord, Mastodon, Geneva, Substack and Patreon emphasize community building in private spaces.”

In terms of the cultural change driving this, Lintz says: “A search for safe spaces and nostalgia for the Internet of the early 2000s — when the word “algorithm” wasn’t part of everyone’s vocabulary — has fuelled interest in these more intimate digital environments. Expect to see people look for smaller social media platforms that they have more control over.”

ChatGPT Will Revolutionize Social Media Management Companies

There is one new item of technology that is set to bring with it significant change. Lintz predicts: “Chat GPT (‘generating pre-training’) is not only the best artificial intelligence chatbot ever released to the general public, it also promises to usher in a new era for social media management companies, including HighKey Enterprises. The AI chatbot will take over basic writing tasks, thereby eliminating the need for human creativity to create new social media content.”

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