Tech companies such as Google, Meta and Twitter will increasingly have to take action against so-called deepfakes and fake accounts in the future. Otherwise there is a risk of horrendous penalties from the EU. The European Commission also intends to publish an updated code of conduct on disinformation in the near future.

Google, Meta, Twitter and Co. must take action against deepfakes and fake accounts in the future. Otherwise they risk horrendous fines from the EU. Like the news agency Reuters reports that this emerges from an updated code of conduct against disinformation.

The European Commission would therefore publish the document in the coming days. It is considered part of the EU’s crackdown on fake news. The previously voluntary code was introduced in 2018.

Deepfakes: Tech companies need to take action

However, the updated version is said to be a so-called co-regulation system. This means that the signatory parties share the responsibility for complying with the code. In this case, this affects both the EU and the tech companies.

According to Reuters, the new code of conduct also includes numerous examples of manipulation – including deepfakes and fake accounts. The document would also be closely linked to the so-called Digital Services Act (DSA), which EU countries agreed on earlier this year.

However, the new code of conduct primarily targets deepfakes. These are hyper-realistic fake images or videos created on the computer. They are mainly used in political contexts to manipulate debates.

Terrible penalties for violations

Platform operators and companies that fail to comply with the Code of Conduct risk penalties of up to six percent of their global revenue. Google, Meta, Twitter and Co. would have had six months to implement the measures once they had been signed.

The document also obliges them to take action against ads that contain disinformation. Above all, this should ensure more transparency in election campaign advertising. Vera Jourova, Vice-President of the European Commission, said that the Ukraine war also underpinned some passages in the Code. She added:

Once the code is in place, we will be better prepared to tackle disinformation, including ones coming from Russia.

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