Brussels, BELGIUM – Today, the European Parliament adopted its position on the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA). Unfortunately, in addition to many unwanted provisions, a controversial proposal to exempt news media from content moderation on very large online platforms was added to the bill.
The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA Europe) applauds the efforts of those Members of the European Parliament who tried to fix Article 17 with a view to removing the 24-hour must-carry obligation and content moderation restrictions.
Stakeholders far and wide, ranging from civil society to tech firms, repeatedly warned that the media exemption erroneously introduces a loophole that rogue actors can abuse to falsely pose as media outlets and disseminate fake news for 24 hours, before platforms are allowed to take it down.
While disappointed by the adoption of the media exemption, CCIA Europe hopes that Parliament will take into account the division of the House on this controversial issue. Policymakers are urged to reconsider their approach. Otherwise the EMFA could end up undermining the Digital Services Act and help to spread disinformation, damaging media freedom at large.
In light of the upcoming negotiations between the Parliament and Member States, CCIA Europe hopes the diversity of views expressed during today’s vote will be considered.
The following can be attributed to CCIA Europe’s Senior Policy Manager, Mathilde Adjutor:
“This is a major setback in the fight against disinformation. The media exemption will empower rogue actors, creating new loopholes to spread fake news rather than fixing anything. We can only hope this disinformation loophole will be closed during the trilogue negotiations between the EU institutions.”