From Journalistic Ethics To Fact-Checking Practices: Defining The Standards Of Content Governance In The Fight Against Disinformation

36 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2021

See all articles by Paolo Cavaliere

Paolo Cavaliere

University of Edinburgh - School of Law

Date Written: January 19, 2021

Abstract

This article claims that the practices undertaken by digital platforms to counter disinformation, under the EU Action Plan against Disinformation and the Code of Practice, mark a shift in the governance of news media content. While professional journalism standards have been used for long, both within and outside the industry, to assess the accuracy of news content and adjudicate on media conduct, the platforms are now resolving to different fact-checking routines to moderate and curate their content.
The article will demonstrate how fact-checking organisations have different working methods than news operators and ultimately understand and assess ‘accuracy’ in different ways. As a result, this new and enhanced role for platforms and fact-checkers as curators of content impacts on how content is distributed to the audience and, thus, on media freedom. Depending on how the fact-checking standards and working routines will consolidate in the near future, however, this trend offers an actual opportunity to improve the quality of news and the right to receive information.

Keywords: Disinformation, Media Freedom, Journalistic Ethics, Platform Responsibility, Fact-checking

Suggested Citation

Cavaliere, Paolo, From Journalistic Ethics To Fact-Checking Practices: Defining The Standards Of Content Governance In The Fight Against Disinformation (January 19, 2021). Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2020/01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3769410 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3769410

Paolo Cavaliere (Contact Author)

University of Edinburgh - School of Law ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, EH8 9YL
United Kingdom

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