The European Union wants influencers to have more media litreracy competencies

Noticing the increasing impact that influencers have on the content and information circulating online in the European Union (UE), member states want them to add media literacy competencies to their existing technical and creative skills.

The goal of the Council of the European Union is for influencers to understand “the potential negative impact of sharing misinformation and disinformation, online hate speech, cyberbullying and other illegal or harmful content”, as stated in the press release that shares the conclusions approved by the Council.

The Council of the European Union – which gathers monthly miinisters from all member states to discuss, amend, and approve legislation and coordinate politicies – recommends to members states and European Comission the following:

1) encourages member states to engage with influencers and their emerging representative organisations to ensure that they are aware of their role in the media ecosystem and the legislation that applies to them;

2) invites the Commission to explore ways to support influencers at EU level, including via a coherent policy approach focusing on media literacy and responsible online behaviour, as well as making use of existing EU funds and programmes on media education;

3) calls on both the Commission and member states to develop policies and instruments to foster responsible behaviour on the part of influencers and to support the development of self-regulatory bodies or mechanisms, including a possible ethical code or similar initiatives for influencers;

4) calls on member states and the Commission to ensure that influencers are involved in the development of those aspects of media policy that may impact them, including the increased use of AI

The Council of the European Union also expressed concern about the increasing number of “kidfluencers” (influencers who are under the age of eighteen) and emphasized the need for parents, guardians and caregivers to protect them and ensure that they are aware of their relevant legal obligations.

Foto: Mizuno Kozuki/Pexels

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