“We’d like democracy to be attractive once more”

  • The Commissioner for Values ​​and Transparency launches a battery of measures to guard the integrity of the elections, combat in opposition to misinformation and reform media pluralism
  • The heart beat of the rule of regulation in Hungary and Poland provides to different threats to the EU, such because the rise of extremism or the dearth of transparency of digital platforms

The heart beat of the rule of regulation, embodied by Hungary or Poland, isn’t the one menace going through the European Union. The rise of extremism, the poor transparency and accountability with which the massive ones act digital platforms, the disinformation assaults and the overseas interference they’ve been shaking a democracy that it’s in a “international disaster”, that “it can’t be taken without any consideration” and that the coronavirus pandemic “has amplified”, warns the vp of the Group Government and accountable for Values ​​and Transparency, Vera Jourová, throughout an interview with a gaggle of European media, together with EL PERIÓDICO.

The response of the European Fee to those challenges is a brand new motion plan on European democracy targeted on three axes – reinforcing the media pluralism, combat in opposition to disinformation and promote “truthful” and “free” elections– which Brussels will full earlier than the 2024 European elections with suggestions to guard journalists, proposals to overview the financing of political events, and new laws to control political propaganda, the so-called ‘microtargeting’ (knowledge administration to affect selections) on the web and using ideological profiles in electoral campaigns as a result of elections ought to be a “competitors of actual folks and never robots,” he maintains.

“The political debate has been privatized, organized and structured by algorithms which might be used to promote merchandise on the web. Now we have to react. We’d like democracy to be attractive once more, present that each one voices rely. Let folks know why they’re seeing an advert, who has paid for it, what ‘microtargeting’ standards have been used. New applied sciences ought to be instruments for emancipation not manipulation, “claims Jourová, who factors on to instances resembling Cambridge Analytica, the ‘Brexit’ referendum and the gathering of knowledge from the profiles of customers of Fb as one of many pending issues to be solved.

“We are not looking for the elections to be a contest of soiled strategies. Platforms should do higher. We would like there to be a horizontal debate, not a bubble debate. The promotion of concepts can’t be handled in the identical method as merchandise, “he insists. His subsequent step can be an affect research that can be adopted by a legislative proposal within the third quarter of 2021 that can outline what’s political content material.” If we would like certainty authorized we have to legislate and ‘microtargeting’ is the core of the issue. We aren’t more likely to ban it however we would like extra transparency “as a result of” the directive on knowledge safety isn’t sufficient, “explains Jourová.

Tame digital platforms

On this battle for transparency there’s an actor whose conduct can be key: digital platforms resembling Fb or Google. The brand new one digital providers and digital market regulation to be introduced by the European Fee on December 15 will drive these giants to evaluate the dangers posed by their programs, together with threat of influencing public discourse, and enhance your duty for content material that customers trade because the ‘faux information’ or contents terrorists. “The freedom of expression It’s important and I cannot help options that undermine it, however neither can we let our societies be manipulated “as a result of” if there are organized constructions that search to sow mistrust and undermine democratic stability, we might be naive if we didn’t reply, “the Czech alleges, utilizing the instance of the anti-vaccine motion.

The thought on this space is to focus on not solely those that intrude but additionally those that amplify the messages and profit from the unfold of dangerous content material. “Disinformation as such isn’t unlawful and we don’t intend to manage content material” however “to empower folks to know why they see sure content material and to make a free alternative” as a result of “content material typically goes viral in hours.” Till now, Brussels had relied solely on the self-regulation By way of a code of fine practices to which solely 4 massive platforms of the 11,000 that function within the EU have joined. The thought is to maneuver in direction of co-regulation.

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“We’d like a disinformation pact with the platforms or fairly anti-misinformation“, he claims by advancing the presentation within the coming months of recent parameters to realize structural adjustments and stop the massive giants from taking advantage of disinformation campaigns and performing as referee of reality In Web. “We would like accountability requirements on algorithms. Understand how they prioritize and who sees what and why. There should be clear guidelines in order that researchers can confirm what is occurring” and “platforms should cease earning money from disinformation and we want higher methods to take care of manipulation by way of bots or faux accounts “, he emphasizes.

The plan additionally contains the presentation of recent initiatives to advertise the pluralism and the freedom of the media with the purpose of reaching a safer atmosphere for journalists and keep away from abusive reporting. “Because the starting of 2020, at the very least 140 journalists and media employees have been attacked in 11 member states. In two thirds of the instances the supply of the menace was non-public people. In a 3rd, police or representatives of state safety and this It’s the tip of the iceberg & rdquor ;, Jourová warns, which numbers 73% of ladies journalists who’ve skilled violence on-line.

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