European Commission asks social media platforms to clearly label deepfakes

On Tuesday, the European Commission sent recommendations to major online platforms to "protect the integrity" of the European elections in June. As part of the recommendations, it urges X, TikTok, Instagram and other social media to clearly label deepfakes.

The commission published the guidelines as part of its Digital Services Act (DSA), which requires social media, video platforms and search engines with more than 45 million active users in the EU to minimise the risk of voter manipulation or disinformation.

Of particular concern is generative AI, and the commission wants deepfakes and other AI-generated content to be clearly labelled.

"We are making full use of all the tools provided by the DSA to ensure that platforms fulfil their obligations"

"2024 is an important election year," said Internal Market commissioner Thierry Breton. "That is why we are making full use of all the tools provided by the DSA to ensure that platforms fulfil their obligations and are not abused to manipulate our elections, while respecting freedom of expression."

The commission further asked the tech giants to set up "internal teams with adequate resources" to mitigate the risks of spreading disinformation. They should also "promote official information on electoral processes, implement media literacy initiatives and adapt their recommendation systems to empower users and limit the monetisation and virality of content that threatens the integrity of electoral processes".

Stress test in April

According to the commission, the guidelines represent the best practices currently available to mitigate risks to democratic processes. Those who prefer other measures will have to prove that they are equally effective. At the end of April, the commission plans to organise a "stress test" with the platforms.

The commission takes compliance with the DSA very seriously. At the end of last year, it opened a formal investigation into X for allegedly not doing enough to moderate content on the social network. It has also asked several major platforms for more information on the measures they take against manipulated content.



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