The EU’s toughest rules on online content since the dawn of social media will come into force, targeting the world’s biggest digital companies.
The Digital Services Act (DSA) is part of the EU’s legal arsenal to bring order to the online “Wild West” and make tech companies more accountable for what they host and show on their platforms.
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Law Coming to Effect
One of the main requirements of the DSA is to get social media platforms to remove illegal and harmful content more quickly.
From Friday, the EU will closely monitor how the platforms comply and how the DSA will change online life in Europe. Although, soon enough, the repercussions of the law should be felt outside of the continent.
“The DSA is part of a bigger strategy to give more power to individuals, to the regulators, to civil society,” said Suzanne Vergnolle, a professor of technology law at the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts in Paris.
If you’re a website with at least 45 million active monthly users, the DSA is going to apply to your platform.
In April, the EU named 19 sites that fall under the DSA, including Amazon Store, Apple’s AppStore, Google’s Play, Maps and Shopping, Zalando, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube and X (formerly Twitter), as well as Google and Bing search engines.
Amazon and Zalando have challenged the decision, claiming that their platforms do not meet the criteria for the DSA. However, the EU said that they still have to comply.
Companies are Rushing to Comply
The changes will not be noticeable overnight for individual users. However, some platforms have already taken steps to comply with the DSA.
For example, Meta (the owner of Facebook and Instagram) and TikTok announced in August that they would give European users more control over how they view content.
The EU will pay special attention to X since it was taken over by billionaire Elon Musk last year.
The EU’s industry commissioner, Thierry Breton, has previously warned Musk that X needs enough resources to moderate dangerous content.
Conversely, Google has already started the ball rolling even without the DSA coming into force.
“My services and I will thoroughly enforce the DSA and fully use our new powers to investigate and sanction platforms where warranted,” Breton told AFP.
What do you think of Europe’s new law, and are you looking forward to having something similar in the UAE and the Middle East?
Technology Content Crafter. Helping you unbox the latest in tech trends, especially with laptops and mobile devices. A PC gaming enthusiast who loves to cook and is currently obsessed with sim games and pizza dough.