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Digital Platforms' Role in Combating Misinformation

Photo by William Hook / Unsplash

Tokyo, Japan - LY Corporation, the Japanese technology group formed by the merger of messaging app LINE and web portal Yahoo Japan, has released the final report of an expert committee formed in 2021 to examine the responsibilities of digital platforms in supporting democracy amid the challenges of the digital era.

The report comes amid growing concerns about how misinformation spread on digital platforms can threaten human perception and judgment and cause social disruption, highlighted by events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 2023.

The expert panel's final report, which builds on an interim report released in June 2022, makes nine key recommendations for digital platform companies. 

These include recognizing external threats to democracy through digital platforms and implementing defenses, engaging in ongoing efforts to counter misinformation, establishing policies for disclosing information to governments, moderating harmful content, providing information to help users determine the credibility of sources, and incentivizing quality information.

The report emphasizes that digital platform companies must dialogue with stakeholders, including governments, to implement these recommendations. 

It also states that for digital platforms to develop as forums for democratic consensus-building based on facts, they must earn the trust of society as a whole by upholding fundamental human rights while establishing the necessary rules and ensuring a high level of transparency.

LINE Yahoo said that as a digital platform company, it will continue to consider and implement measures to ensure the health and credibility of the information ecosystem in light of the expert panel's suggestions. 

The company previously released an interim report from the 2022 panel, which included suggestions on fact-checking and dealing with false information.

The panel's guidance requires platforms to proactively define their role in supporting democratic health in the digital age in partnership with government and society.