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Big Tech's Most Feared EU Law Now in Effect

© Unsplash/Christian Lue

The Digital Services Act (DSA) is now law and applies in all its provisions throughout the European Union. This ambitious text is a new step in the protection of European Internet users and a resumption of the continent's sovereignty over online spaces.

While until now its provisions only applied to platforms visited by more than 10% of the European population, now the obligations of the text also concern more generally all companies with more than 50 employees with at least 10 million euros in annual turnover operating in Europe.

The obligations of the Digital Services Act impact platforms well beyond the European Union

Among the key measures, mechanisms must now be proposed to allow users to report illegal content. The text also establishes more transparency in moderation decisions on online platforms. Unauthorized targeting is no longer permitted… and users must, in addition to obtaining their express consent, be offered an option to deactivate this targeting.

In addition, advertising targeting can no longer target minors, or be based on ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Beyond that, sites offering adult content must have more sophisticated age verification methods than a simple yes/no banner or simply asking to confirm the date of birth.

The text also establishes measures to protect against the risk of electoral interference/or disruption of the electoral process. Finally, marketplaces are subject to obligations requiring them to have better traceability. Beyond the European Union, foreign actors, particularly based in the United States and China, have been particularly on alert since the first discussions around the DSA.

This new Law indeed has implications well beyond Europe, with platforms increasingly choosing to adopt European measures for all their visitors without distinction – and a call for the establishment of similar texts across the Atlantic, in particular. The obligations around moderation, respect for the rules on what is allowed or not to be said on social networks (not calling for hatred in particular) now apply to all platforms, including 𝕏, Elon Musk's social network.

According to the blog The Stack, many platforms, including OnlyFans (based in the United Kingdom), were reminded of their obligations over the weekend. They must as quickly as possible, if this is not already the case, appoint a manager responsible for ensuring compliance with the obligations contained in the DSA. TikTok is already bearing the brunt of a procedure since Monday around the protection of minors – showing that the European commissioners plan to apply the new text very firmly.

  • The DSA is now Law throughout the European Union and applies in full.
  • All companies with more than 50 employees and generating more than 10 million are concerned of annual turnover.
  • This key text has implications well beyond the borders of Europe.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116