CAAD calls urgent action after EU officially designates 19 online platforms as being in scope of Digital Services Act

Online platforms are given four months to comply with new European Union Digital Service Act obligations, but these platforms should start taking action now, says the coalition of 50 organisations committed to addressing climate disinformation.

In response to the European Commission’s official designation of 19 online platforms as being in scope of the Digital Services Act (DSA), announced earlier today, the Climate Action Against Disinformation Coalition (CAAD) is calling on these companies to take immediate ambitious action against climate disinformation.

The announcement made earlier today is a milestone for the European Union in responding to the threats online disinformation poses to climate action and democratic integrity. Many of these companies are taking steps backwards in their commitments to transparency, accountability and supporting the democratic process.

Under the regime, online platforms have four months to comply with many of the DSA’s obligations, including the implementation of adequate content moderation capacities and user-facing transparency measures.

However, in a new letter, the CAAD coalition urges the online platforms to start taking action today to address climate disinformation on their platforms. Climate disinformation is one of the most rampant and dangerous forms of disinformation that not only derails climate action but also feeds polarisation and threatens all democratic processes in the EU, as the EU Parliament’s Special Committee Report stated.

Over the coming months, CAAD calls on online platforms to:

  • Release publicly available assessments of how design changes affect the spread of disinformation and hate speech. 
  • Allow public interest researchers access to non-personal data. 
  • Adopt a universal definition of climate mis- and disinformation.
  • Prevent monetisation of disinformation through ads and search. 
  • Report annually on foreign interference and industry-sponsored disinformation, and educate users on detecting and limiting disinformation.

The full letter and asks can be accessed here.