Twitch signs the Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation
Press release, 7 February 2024 – Twitch has today announced that it will adopt the Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation (ACPDM), affirming its commitment to protecting Australians from harmful misinformation and disinformation online.
Twitch, an interactive livestreaming service for content spanning gaming, entertainment, sports, music, is the newest signatory of the code – joining Apple, Adobe, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Redbubble and TikTok – in making a public and accountable commitment to taking action on mis- and disinformation in Australia.
DIGI Managing Director, Sunita Bose, said:
“We’re pleased to welcome Twitch as a signatory to The Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation, and to see this code expand its reach to new services.
“The signatories of the code now include an even wider range of digital services, spanning interactive livestreaming, software, news and information, marketplaces, and communication platforms.
“The code is principles-based, enabling a wide diversity of digital services to be able to adopt it, and provides a blueprint for best practice open to any digital service committed to taking action on mis- and disinformation in Australia.
“Since its establishment in 2021, the code has bolstered industry transparency, established benchmarks for progress, and created public resources that can provide researchers, civil society and Governments with insights into the scale and management of mis- and disinformation in Australia.”
Angela Hession, Chief Customer Trust Officer, Twitch, said:
“Our teams are committed to making Twitch the best and safest place to stream – and we believe safety and transparency go hand in hand. Users, and the broader online community, want services to ‘show their work,’ and talk about the ways they’re prioritising safety and improving experiences. The Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation underscores this, and we’re thrilled to join on.”
Under the ACPDM, mandatory code commitments include publishing & implementing policies on misinformation and disinformation, providing users with a way to report content against those policies and implementing a range of scalable measures that reduce its spread & visibility (Mandatory commitment #1). Every signatory has agreed to annual transparency reports about those efforts to improve understanding of both the management and scale of mis- and disinformation in Australia (Mandatory commitment #7).
Signatories are due to lodge transparency reports under the code, covering the 2023 calendar year, in May 2024. In line with the annual reporting period specified under the code, Twitch will make its first report with data from the 2024 calendar year.
The Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation (ACPDM) was developed in response to Australian Government policy announced in December 2019, in response to the ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry, where the digital industry was asked to develop a voluntary code of practice on disinformation.
DIGI developed the ACPDM with assistance from the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Media Transition, and First Draft, a global organisation that specialises in helping societies overcome false and misleading information. The ACPDM was launched in February 2021 and was further strengthened in December 2022 in response to stakeholder feedback received through a planned review of the code that included a public consultation.
Mandatory code commitments include publishing & implementing policies on misinformation and disinformation, providing users with a way to report content against those policies and implementing a range of scalable measures that reduce its spread & visibility (Mandatory commitment #1). Every signatory has agreed to annual transparency reports about those efforts to improve understanding of both the management and scale of mis- and disinformation in Australia (Mandatory commitment #7).
Transparency reports detail the nature and effectiveness of interventions to counter misinformation and illustrate efforts to elevate reputable content and provide users with information to counter misinformation. All transparency reports under the code are reviewed by independent expert Hal Crawford, who also developed the best practice guidelines that guide signatories’ transparency reporting. Crawford assesses each transparency report against those guidelines, asks signatories for improvements, and attests claims prior to publication.
Additionally, there are a series of opt-in commitments that platforms adopt if relevant to their business model: (Commitment #2) Addressing disinformation in paid content; (#3) addressing fake bots and accounts; (#4) transparency about source of content in news and factual information (e.g. promotion of media literacy, partnerships with fact-checkers) and (#5) political advertising; and (#6) partnering with universities/researchers to improve understanding of mis and disinformation.
DIGI is a non-profit industry association that advocates for the interests of the digital industry in Australia. DIGI’s vision is a thriving Australian digitally-enabled economy that fosters innovation, a growing selection of digital products and services, and where online safety and privacy are protected. DIGI is a key industry, Government and community collaborator in efforts to address online harms, data and consumer protection online and to grow the digital economy. We work in a range of ways including advocacy for effective and implementable approaches to technology policy, code development, and partnerships.
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