New CodeCheck report highlights inconsistencies across digital platforms in tackling disinformation


Today FuJo, in association with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, have published a new research report, CodeCheck 2020: A Review of Platform Compliance with the EC Code of Practice on Disinformation. The research examined the progress of Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft as they strive to increase their accountability for the content that is carried and promoted on their services in Ireland, through their commitment to the self-regulatory European Code of Practice on Disinformation. 

As part of our research at FuJo, efforts made by Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft to reach their commitments to the Code in Ireland over a 12-month period were analysed and evaluated to verify whether actions outlined in European-wide self-assessment reports submitted by each of the platforms had occurred in Ireland during the time period. 

The report found that while the four platforms have introduced various actions aimed at empowering Irish consumers, the level of engagement is mixed and inconsistent. Actions carried out included: mechanisms to report fake news, providing greater information on the content visible on the platforms, greater control and transparency in relation to advertising and user preferences, and the promotion of authentic and authoritative information sources. The report also found that supports in place for Irish research and academic institutions remain episodic and largely inadequate to assist in the delivery of any rigorous analysis and monitoring of online disinformation trends in Ireland.

Our Director, Jane Suiter, explains, “Our findings indicate that the most significant shortcoming of empowering consumers was the labelling of trustworthy content on digital platforms. Our researchers could not identify any news item across any platform that had been labelled as fact-checked with the corresponding verdict on its authenticity. This represents a substantial obstacle in assisting Irish consumers to make informed decisions when they encounter news online.”

This report is the second output of an EGRA project in which the BAI has commissioned FuJo to monitor the implementation of The EC Code of Practice on Disinformation in Ireland. A previous report, ElectCheck 2019, had a specific focus on political advertising during the 2019 European Parliament elections.

You can read the full CodeCheck 2020 report here.