EPRA’s Media and Information Literacy Taskforce report tackles the AVMS Directive

EPRA has recently published a report to offer their reflections on how the new provision of Article 28b(3)(j) AVMSD could best be understood and applied. The full report is available here.

The AVMS Directive: Article 28b(3)(j)

First of all, it is worth noting that a new obligation for video-sharing platforms is to provide: “effective media literacy measures and tools and raising users’ awareness of those measures and tools.”

Moreover, it should be mentioned that this comes in the context of a wider new obligation in the Directive on each Member State to “promote and take measures for the development of media literacy skills” that “should not be limited to learning about tools and technologies, but should aim to equip citizens with the critical thinking skills required to exercise judgment, analyse complex realities and recognise the difference between opinion and fact.”

And the Directive also stresses the importance of multi-stakeholders cooperation “It is therefore necessary that both media service providers and video-sharing platforms providers, in cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, promote the development of media literacy in all sections of society, for citizens of all ages, and for all media and that progress in that regard is followed closely.

Key takeaways from the report:

  1. Online platforms are already involved in a number of media literacy activities including content labelling and prominence, behavioural nudges and service design, resources, advertising transparency, funding partnerships and events, and campaigns.
  2. Independent assessment suggests (ERGA report & VVA study) that the focus of media literacy should shift from the number and extent of measures introduced to improving and focusing on impact on the user. Moreover, both of these reports highlight their conclusion that the tools made available by platforms to report misinformation are not easy-to-use and often cater exclusively to the US market.
  3. Presently, it is difficult to see the bigger picture and analyse the reach and effect of MIL activities and assess the available tools due to the lack of a systematic or transparent approach to reporting.
  4. Independent national regulatory authorities are going to be responsible to various degrees for the oversight of MIL activities.
  5. Most countries simply copied the provisions of the Directive in this area, however a few countries such as Ireland, decided to work on more detailed set of requirements on media literacy.
  6. A shared set of principles or guidelines for Video-sharing platform (VSP) providers is needed in order to ensure consistency across Member States.
  7. When it comes to involving multi-stakeholder, evidence shows that VSPs can and are forming successful partnerships that can be developed further and involve more stakeholders.
  8. EPRA highlights the crucial role MIL networks and alliances play “in the development of common approaches, as it is much easier to build support for and involvement in initiatives when network partners have already been involved in, or had some say in, the policy behind their development”