EU targets online influencers’ growing power – POLITICO

The paper is trying to tackle the messy, often unchecked impact of social influencers on society. Self-described misogynist Andrew Tate is one online content creator considered directly responsible for fueling a wave of toxic masculinity and sexual harassment against girls in U.K. schools.

And just last month, misleading advertising by Italy’s celebrity Chiara Ferragni sparked a political row over a fake charity campaign with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni responding with a new transparency law.

Belgium, which is currently chairing the EU Council coordinating European governments’ policy positions, wants countries to ensure influencers are well aware of — and comply with — EU and national rules.

But it also sees a need to support creators, who are often young and inexperienced, by offering them training in communicating with the public.

“At the moment, there is a gap in support to enhance the cognitive and ethical skills of influencers,” the Belgian document reads. They should “understand the impact they could have on their followers by disclosing it in an accessible and comprehensible way.”

As a first step, the Belgian Council presidency is planning a February 27 conference called “Content with Conscience” to discuss “responsible” influencing with influencers and experts.

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