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Coronavirus vaccine disinformation: new reports from online platforms to inform Code of Practice revamp

The Commission publishes today the new reports by Twitter, TikTok, Google, Facebook and Microsoft on measures they took in March 2021 against coronavirus and vaccine disinformation as signatories of the Code of Practice on Disinformation.

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Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said: “As we have been working with stakeholders towards a strengthened Code of Practice and permanent monitoring framework, the reports confirm the importance of increased transparency to ensure effective and accountable  action against disinformation online.”

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, added: “Fighting disinformation on coronavirus vaccines is a common battle in order to reach our goal to have 70% of Europeans vaccinated by July. Platforms play a role in making authoritative content on the importance of vaccination accessible to Europeans and limit disinformation that may hinder our collective efforts.” 

Twitter reports it has started to place a warning on tweets that advance unsubstantiated rumours, disputed claims, as well as incomplete or out-of-context information about vaccines.

TikTok reports that a tag has been applied to 7687 videos with words or hashtags related to vaccine in the EU.

Google continued to expand a feature which surfaces a list of authorised vaccines, statistics, and more in users' locations in response to searches for information on coronavirus vaccines.

Facebook expanded their tools to help people getting vaccinated by adding labels displaying World Health Organisation information on related posts.

Microsoft's LinkedIn now features official information about vaccines and vaccination on their official page to which users are redirected when searching for coronavirus-related keywords.

To fine-tune the monitoring process, the Commission will issue guidance in the next few weeks to strengthen the Code of Practice and build the bridge with the future Digital Services Act obligations, as set out in the European Democracy Action Plan.