This study assesses the implementation of the commitments made by these platforms and search engines. The white paper also examined member state-level data specific to Bulgaria, provided in the reports.

The main purpose of the Code is to enable a co-regulatory environment for the industry in its efforts against online disinformation. As we know disinformation’s corrosive effect on public discourse has been growing steadily as can be observed in high profile examples such as Brexit, the Cambridge Analytica revelations and the election of President Donald Trump, the COVID pandemic, and the Russian war in Ukraine.

Researchers argue that “regulatory action under the Digital Services Act is urgently needed in order to protect and encourage transparent and representative, large-scale research into disinformation. Otherwise, the corrosive effects of disinformation will continue and events such as the upcoming EU elections will undoubtedly be targets for disinformation campaigns across the continent”.

The current analysis covers different periods which were determined by the data provided by the companies themselves. The data provided generally reflects the final quarter of 2022.

The CoP contains three main pillars – Advertising and political advertising; Integrity of the Services; Empowering Users, Empowering researchers & Empowering Fact-Checkers.

The aggregated results show that for advertising, companies’ responses were the weakest. In relation to providing more options to consumers, the most data were given. However, this does not increase clarity and transparency.

Researchers are calling for harmonization and standardisation of data reporting formats and methodology, as well as a common infrastructure for data processing. This is especially important for EU member states with smaller linguistic and computational resources such as Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia.

The study also recommends measures to improve the transparency and quality of reports provided by the corporations.

The full document is available HERE

This project has received funding from the European Union under Contract number: 101083730 — BROD. This document reflects the views only of the independent Consortium, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained herein.