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Parliamentary questions
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11 February 2021
Answer given by Mr Breton
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-006118/2020

In its Assessment of the Code of Practice on Disinformation(1), the Commission noted that disinformation campaigns often leverage an array of manipulative techniques, including deep fakes. Under the European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP)(2), the Commission will issue guidance on how platforms and other stakeholders should step up measures to address disinformation. The Commission will then call upon the Code’s signatories to strengthen the Code in accordance with this guidance, and set up a more robust framework for monitoring the strengthened Code.

The Commission’s proposal for the Digital Services Act(3) sets out new rules for flagging and removing illegal content. Very large platforms will have to assess the risks of misuse of their services for spreading illegal content and of manipulation of their systems through automated behaviour and take mitigating measures.

Through Horizon2020, the Commission funds innovations that address the problem of deep fakes(4). This support will continue under Horizon Europe. The EU-funded European Digital Media Observatory, launched in June 2020, offers tools for independent European fact checkers and academic researchers focusing on disinformation.

The Commission also closely monitors the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to generate deep fakes and is reflecting on whether specific, proportionate measures are needed to address the problem.

In addition, the Commission co-funds Safer Internet Centres(5) across Europe. They run awareness campaigns, share best practices and resources, and offer advice on how to deal with harmful content, including deep fakes. The Commission also furthers the fight against child sexual abuse, including online forms of abuse, through legislative measures and support actions(6).

(1) SWD (2020) 180 final, pp. 13-14.
(2) COM(2020) 790 final.
(3) COM(2020) 825 final.
(4) E.g. https://weverify.eu/
(5)Co-funding currently by Connecting Europe Facility.
(6)E.g. EU strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse, COM(2020) 607 final.
Last updated: 11 February 2021Legal notice - Privacy policy