European Union Policies Affecting Disinformation

From ADTAC Disinformation Inventory


Since 2000, the overall framework of the EU has been the E-Commerce Directive which guarantees that tech companies are exempt from liability for user-generated content.[1][2] The 2020 Digital Services Act ensures that companies that host other user’s digital content are not liable for that content unless they actually know it is illegal, or unless a user flags content as potentially illegal, in which case the act states it must be removed.[3]

The EU established the Code of Practice on Disinformation. This code has been agreed upon by "online platforms, leading social networks, advertisers and advertising industry"[4]. The objectives of the code include increased transparency in political advertising, the closing down of fake accounts, and the demonetization of disinformation content.[5]

The EU's Action Plan involved developing guidelines for obligations and accountability of online platforms.[6]


The EU established The European Digital Media Observatory as a "hub for fact-checkers, academics and other relevant stakeholders" to support EU policy makers.[7] During the COVID-19 pandemic the EU established the COVID-19 monitoring and reporting programme consisting of signatories of the Code of Practice.[8]

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National Policies Affecting Disinformation