The Call is addressed to a wide range of stakeholders, including providers of online services that participate in the dissemination of content to the public such as social media or search services, private messaging applications, stakeholders from the advertising sector and other players providing services that may be used to monetise disinformation. Stakeholders who help address the spread of disinformation through their tools, technical efforts, philanthropic work or specific expertise could also become signatories.
Incentives for joining the Code of Practice on Disinformation include: to become part of an EU-wide, innovative and robust framework that aims to provide users with appropriate safeguards with regard to the misuse of online services to spread disinformation. Signatories can gain from sharing best practices and establishing possible synergies with other signatories’ services. Participation in the Code will contribute to the overall integrity, credibility, and public image of the signatories, providing also protection against reputational damage stemming from the risks related to the spread of disinformation. In addition, very large platforms will also benefit from participating in the strengthened Code in anticipation of new obligations applicable to them under the proposed Digital Services Act (DSA), in particular with regard to risk assessment, risk mitigation, user empowerment, and transparency around advertising.
New signatories are expected to co-shape the revised Code together with current signatories regarding the drafting of the commitments that are relevant to their services and to subscribe to these commitments.
New prospective signatories are invited to submit their application by 15 November at the latest, in order to facilitate the process and the delivery of a new Code within the expected timeframe. Beyond that date, stakeholders would still be able to join and take on relevant commitments of the Code once it will be finalised and open for signature, but not take part in its drafting anymore.
The present Call follows up on the Commission’s Guidance on Strengthening the Code of Practice on Disinformation, published on 26 May 2021 which suggests wider participation in the Code to make it a more comprehensive and coordinated response to the spread of disinformation. Interested parties are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible in order to get involved in the drafting of the new Code from an early stage.