Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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Tech ObserverNewsIndustryUS BigTech braces for trouble over deepfakes, risks EU crackdown

US BigTech braces for trouble over deepfakes, risks EU crackdown

Among the top companies exposed to the new risk include Alphabet unit Google, Facebook, Twitter.

Among the top companies exposed to the new risk include Alphabet unit Google, Facebook, Twitter.

With the new EU code for US BigTech companies set in, top technology giants risk hefty fines if they fail to take measures to counter deepfakes and fake accounts on their platforms. Among the top companies exposed to the new risk include Alphabet unit , , .

The European Commission will publish the updated code of practice on disinformation later this week as part of its crackdown against fake news. Introduced in 2018, the voluntary code will now become a co-regulation scheme, with responsibility shared between the regulators and the signatories to the code.

The updated code will spell out more examples of manipulative behaviour such as deepfakes and fake accounts which the signatories will have to tackle. Deepfakes are hyperrealistic forgeries created by computer techniques that have triggered alarm worldwide in particular when they are used in a political context.

The code will also be linked to tough new EU rules known as the Digital Services Act agreed by the 27-country European Union earlier this year which has a section on combating disinformation.

In effect, it means companies which fail to live up to their obligations under the code can face fines of as much as 6% of their global turnover. “From Brexit to the Russian war on Ukraine, over the past years, well-known social networks have allowed disinformation and destabilisation strategies to spread without restraint – even making money out of it. Disinformation cannot remain a source of revenue,” EU industry chief Thierry Breton said.

“The best antidote is to cut off its funding in a clear-cut manner. Platforms should no longer receive a single euro from spreading disinformation. Demonetisation is a cornerstone of the code of practice against disinformation,” he said.

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