Media statement

Reset Australia’s complaint against Meta under the Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation is dismissed: Findings of the independent Complaints Sub-Committee, 15 April 2024

The independent Complaints Sub-Committee completed its inquiries into the complaint by Reset
Australia against Meta after considering the information provided by the parties and consulting the
independent reviewer of the Meta transparency report. The Committee dismissed the complaint on the grounds that Reset Australia produced no convincing evidence that Meta’s transparency report contained false statements.

The Committee further noted that:
● Meta made a fair and reasonable offer to Reset Australia to update Meta’s next transparency
reports (due May 2024) with additional information about the outcomes of its moderation and
fact-checking process, but Reset Australia rejected this offer.
● Meta makes available additional readily publicly accessible information about its fact-checking
program and labelling process on other online resources.
● Reset Australia expressed concerns that the transparency reports need to be ‘more transparent’.
DIGI (in its capacity as code administrator) has advised the Committee that signatories remain
committed to continuously improving transparency reporting under the Australian Code of
Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation. This includes signatories consulting with the
ACMA on the development of suitable metrics to assess signatories’ performance against the
code outcomes.

The Committee is disappointed that Reset Australia chose to share the substance of its complaint with the media before the Committee completed its deliberations and determined the complaint’s outcome.

The Digital Industry Group Inc referred Reset Australia’s complaint alleging that Meta breached its
commitments under the Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation to the
independent Complaints Committee on Friday, 23 February.

Reset Australia alleged that Meta’s annual code transparency report contained materially false
information about the measures that Meta implements to comply with the code commitments.
Specifically, Reset Australia alleged that the transparency report published by Meta in May 2023 contained false or misleading statements about the outcomes of Meta’s content moderation and fact-checking process.

– Complaints Sub-Committee,

15 April, 2024

Background on the complaints facility

What does the independent review process refer to?
Reports under the code are assessed by an independent reviewer, who develops best practice reporting guidelines to drive improvements in signatories’ transparency reports. The reviewer assesses each transparency report against those guidelines, asks signatories for improvements, and attests claims prior to publication.

How does the complaints process work?
The governance of the ACPDM includes independent oversight and a facility for the public to report breaches by signatories of their code commitments. More about the governance of the Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation can be found at The Complaints Sub-committee is made up of at least two independent members who do not work within or represent relevant technology companies. Each independent member will also be required to declare any actual or potential conflict of interest as a condition of their appointment. 2) The role of secretary of the Complaints Sub-committee will be undertaken by a representative of DIGI. 3) The secretary may provide advice and recommendations to the Complaints Sub-committee regarding the operation of the ACPDM, and will record minutes of meetings, and assist in documenting the sub-committee’s decisions and reports. 4) The secretary is not a member of the Complaints Sub-committee and cannot vote on decisions at meetings

What happens if a signatory is found to be in breach of the code?
The Complaints Sub-committee can decide the resolution of a complaint about potential material
breaches of the ACPDM based on the severity of the breach, taking steps that range from public
statements, investigations and withdrawing a company from the code. However, the aim of the complaints facility is to resolve the complaints, so as to have a positive impact on mis- and disinformation in Australia; this will involve working constructively with signatories on the steps they can take to improve compliance with their code commitments.

Why can’t people make complaints about specific pieces of misinformation and disinformation content to DIGI?
The aim of the code is to drive improvements and transparency on the measures that signatories take to deal with misinformation and disinformation in Australia. The complaints facility’s approach is consistent with that aim. DIGI will accept complaints from the Australian public where they believe a signatory has materially breached the code’s commitments. Complaints about individual items of content on signatories’ products or services should be directed to the signatory via their reporting mechanisms or otherwise. The code requires all signatories to have such reporting mechanisms.

What structures have you put into place to prevent conflicts of interest for DIGI in this governance arrangement?
Self-regulatory codes of practice developed by industry associations are used in a range of industries, including the media, advertising and telecommunications. DIGI’s handling of complaints is oversighted by the independent Complaints Sub-committee. As the code developer, DIGI acts as secretary on this Complaints Sub-Committee, but has no vote on decisions regarding complaints brought to it, to avoid conflicts of interest as an industry association.