The EU Disinformation Lab shares that a new policy proposal called the Digital Services Act (DSA) was voted on by the EU Body in 2020. The DSA aims to 'significantly improve the mechanisms for the removal of illegal content and create a stronger public oversight of online platforms, in particular for platforms that reach more than 10% of the EU’s population. The Digital Services Act aims to:
Better protect consumers and their fundamental rights online
Establish a powerful transparency and a clear accountability framework for online platforms
Foster innovation, growth and competitiveness within the single market
The EU Disinformation Lab argues - rightly so - that disinformation endangers our fundamental rights because spreaders of disinformation, rumors and myths confuse people and make it harder for people to access timely, relevant, and accurate information. We see everyday how misinformation, disinformation, rumors and myths become dangerous when people spread rumors about dangerous and ineffective methods to 'prevent COVID' by taking horse de-worming treatments or inhaling dangerous compounds. We know that there are people that actually profit from these lies. We learned about well-resourced cybersecurity groups that interfere in governmental democratic process to tamper with elections, silence dissidents and to polarize everyday people and sow anger and mistrust. This malicious activity has 'concrete implications on our rights, our democracies, and our free press.'
The advice has always been to ignore these lies, to NOT pass it on or address the rumor head-on. That advice largely is still valid, but that leaves many people who want to DO more without much guidance. The Digital Rights Act is the first step by a large governmental organization - the EU - to tackle disinformation head-on and hold perpetrators of such lies to account. Hey America, I think it's high time we do the same. We need to stop this fast-moving downward spiral in lies, rumors and myths that are getting people killed when fear, mistrust and poor access to accurate information take center stage - by people and groups gunning for power and a way to sell people lies and fake treatments and vaccines for a virus that is now largely preventable.
Are Americas politicians equipped to take on this critical challenge?