A 30-page guide to reducing the spread of false information on the Internet was written in response to a study by the Australian government. More than two-thirds of Australians are worried about misinformation online.
The international tech giants present in Australia unveiled Monday, at the request of the government, a code of best practice intended to reduce the spread of false information on the Internet.
Lobbyist group DIGI, which includes Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, TikTok and Redbubble, has pledged to take a series of steps, including reporting bogus content on their platforms and prioritizing news sources. credible. They have also agreed to suspend or deactivate fake and suspicious accounts, including bots (Editor’s note: automated computer programs) that broadcast on their platforms.
These measures, which largely codify existing practices, would also target paid advertising and content shared by users. “All signatories pledge to take action to protect Australians from disinformation online and to adopt other scalable steps to reduce its dissemination and visibility,” the group said upon the release of the 29 code. pages.
It was developed in response to a government investigation into the role of online platforms in disseminating false information or disinformation. This problem became particularly sensitive during the forest fires that ravaged the immense island-continent at the end of 2019 – beginning of 2020 and since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Concern about disinformation.
“False information can cause serious damage to individuals and society,” said the Government Authority for Communication and Media (ACMA), responsible for overseeing the implementation of this code.
ACMA said on Monday that in 2020 more than two-thirds of Australians expressed concern about the extent of disinformation online. Its president, Nerida O’Loughlin, praised the code’s “proportionate and flexible” approach.
The signatories agreed to report the progress of this code to the government by the end of June, and then publish annual reports. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher warned technology companies on Monday that the government “will carefully monitor” the implementation of the measures.
The Australian Conservative government’s anti-disinformation action comes at a time when it intends to pass a law aimed at forcing the tech giants to pay the media for the resumption of their news content on their platforms.
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