The Truth in Fake News: How Disinformation Laws Are Reframing the Concepts of Truth and Accuracy on Digital Platforms

42 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2022

See all articles by Paolo Cavaliere

Paolo Cavaliere

University of Edinburgh - School of Law

Date Written: July 1, 2022

Abstract

The European Union’s (EU) strategy to address the spread of disinformation, and most notably the Code of Practice on Disinformation and the forthcoming Digital Services Act, tasks digital platforms with a range of actions to minimise the distribution of issue-based and political adverts that are verifiably false or misleading. This article discusses the implications of the EU’s approach with a focus on its categorical approach, specifically what it means to conceptualise disinformation as a form of advertisement and by what standards digital platforms are expected to assess the truthful or misleading nature of the content they distribute because of this categorisation. The analysis will show how the emerging EU anti-disinformation framework marks a departure from the European Court of Human Rights’ consolidated standards of review for public interest and commercial speech and the tests utilised to assess their accuracy.

Keywords: Disinformation, Journalism, Advertising, Digital platforms, Freedom of expression, Media freedom

Suggested Citation

Cavaliere, Paolo, The Truth in Fake News: How Disinformation Laws Are Reframing the Concepts of Truth and Accuracy on Digital Platforms (July 1, 2022). Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2022/12, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4151908 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4151908

Paolo Cavaliere (Contact Author)

University of Edinburgh - School of Law ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, EH8 9YL
United Kingdom

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