Meta’s annual transparency report on Australia’s disinformation and misinformation industry code

Josh Machin, Head of Policy (Australia) – May 30, 2022

Meta is proud to be a founding member and signatory to the Australian industry code on disinformation and misinformation. In 2021, Meta opted into every commitment under the code, and our 2021 transparency report outlined 43 specific commitments to meet our obligations across both Facebook and Instagram. 

Today, Meta has published our 2022 transparency report, with details showing how our 2021 commitments were met, whilst enhancing transparency. The report also includes Australian-specific data outlining the measures that Meta has taken to combat disinformation and misinformation, including:

  • In 2021, we removed over 11 million pieces of content from Facebook and Instagram globally for violating our Community Standards in relation to harmful health misinformation. Over 180,000 of these pieces of content were from Pages or accounts specific to Australia.
  • We have made a COVID-19 Information Centre available around the world to promote authoritative information to Facebook users. Over 350 million people globally visited the Information Centre in Q4 of 2021, over 3.5 million of these were Australians.
  • Since the beginning of the pandemic to June 2021, globally, we have displayed warnings on more than 190 million pieces of content on Facebook that our third-party fact-checking partners have rated as false, partly false, altered or missing content.
  • Since the beginning of the pandemic to June 2021, globally, Meta has removed over 3,000 accounts, pages, and groups for repeatedly violating our rules against spreading COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation.

These results follow a number of steps we took in Australia to combat disinformation and misinformation, including:

  • Securing an additional third-party fact-checking partner, RMIT FactLab, to join Australian Associated Press and Agence France Presse as our fact-checking partners.
  • Expanding our ad transparency requirements to cover social issue advertising since June 2021, well before the Australian federal election.
  • Providing millions of dollars worth of advertising credits to federal, state and territory governments and NGOs, to increase access to COVID-19 vaccine and health information.
  • Launching two, national media literacy campaigns: The consumer-focussed campaign with Australian Associated Press called ‘Check the Facts’; and (2) a creator-focussed awareness campaign with First Draft called ‘Don’t be a Misinfluencer’.
  • Launching the Climate Science Information Centre on Facebook to provide Australians with authoritative information on climate change.
  • Supporting civic participation in the federal election campaign via a package of measures to combat misinformation and promoting authoritative information about voting.

Meta continues to build on our approach to disinformation and misinformation. In our 2022 Transparency report we confirm 45 specific commitments that we will put in place over the next annual reporting period, including the following new commitments: 

  • Meta will continue to provide greater transparency of our content ranking algorithms and give users more control over the content they see.
  • Meta will continue to add new functionality to the Ad Library to encourage scrutiny and transparency of political and social issue advertising.
  • Meta will fund training for Australian journalists on how to identify and prevent amplifying mis- and disinformation.
  • Meta will focus on new areas of research relating to disinformation and misinformation in 2022, including media literacy of First Nations peoples.

The industry code provides an effective framework to increase transparency of companies’ efforts to combat misinformation and disinformation. We look forward to continuing to work with Australian policymakers, civil society, academics and experts on how we can evolve our work moving forward. 

Read Meta’s response to the Australian disinformation and misinformation industry code in further detail here.

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