Content Labeling Among Key IPIE Recommendations for Transparency Reporting Under EU’s Digital Services Act

The International Panel on the Information Environment (IPIE) has set out recommendations for the European Commission’s consultation regarding the Implementation of Regulations for Transparency Reporting Obligations under the Digital Services Act.

The IPIE strives to empower policymakers, industry leaders, and civil society with invaluable insights for a better global information environment. With contributions from hundreds of leading scientists worldwide, the IPIE is uniquely placed to provide robust empirical evidence on information integrity in the global online information environment.

The submission draws on the IPIE’s report Strategies for Improving the Global Information Environment Results from a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. The recommendations aim to enhance the transparency and accountability of content moderation practices on online platforms, thereby fostering a safer and more trustworthy online environment for users.

The recommendations include adding specific fields related to content moderation, detection methods, and the use of automated means for moderation. 

The submission emphasizes the importance of robust reporting to ensure transparency and accountability in online platforms. Additionally, it highlights the legal context of the proposed regulations and the objectives of the DSA in creating a transparent and safe online environment.

Professor Philip Howard, CEO of the IPIE said: “The IPIE welcomes the draft implementing regulations as an important step towards a better information environment. Our evidence based recommendations are designed to strengthen the effectiveness of the regulations by including information regarding measures that have been endorsed by the scientific community.”

The IPIE has identified an emerging scientific consensus that strongly endorses content labelling as a means of improving the global information environment.  In addition, the provision of corrective information, content or account moderation, and information and media literacy may also be effective strategies for improving the information environment.

The IPIE defines these countermeasures as follows:

  • Content Labelling: Labelling posts, accounts, and stories with tags about fact-checking, funding, or advertising, or any other forms of tagging or flagging, including providing further content without the user having to click through to receive the additional information;
  • Corrective information: An organization, platform, or individual provides accurate information without regard to whether users have preconceptions about it.
  • Content or account moderation: Taking down or marking content; using human or algorithmic moderation to suspend and block accounts.
  • Information and media literacy: Educating users to identify misinformation by giving them tips or suggestions or by training them.

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