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Amazon, Google, meta under EU law targets on disinformation, harmful content

Byadmin

Apr 24, 2022
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An activist wearing a mask with the image of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a rally to mark the first announcement of the Digital Services Act in Brussels in 2020.

An activist wearing a mask depicting Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook parent Meta, during a rally to mark the first announcement of the Digital Services Act in Brussels in 2020.

Kenzo Tribouillard/Getty Images

Lawmakers in the European Union reached an agreement on Saturday on the basics of key legislation designed to curb the negative effects of social media sites and other digital platforms.

The Digital Services Act, among others, would force services including Facebook, Google, Twitter and others to address the spread of disinformation on their platforms and reveal how their algorithms recommend content to users. The DSA would also ban certain types of advertising on the platforms, such as targeted ads that target children or are tailored to people’s ethnicity or sexual orientation.

“With the DSA, we are helping to create a safe and responsible online environment,” European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. “Platforms must be transparent about their content moderation decisions, prevent dangerous disinformation from going viral and prevent unsafe products from being offered on marketplaces. With today’s agreement, we are ensuring that platforms are held accountable for the risks their services may pose to the public. society and citizens.”

The DSA is one of the two pillars of a major overhaul of the technical regulation that was first unveiled in draft form by the EU in December 2020. The other pillar, the Digital Markets Act, received preliminary approval last month and is designed to address issues. such as tackling anti-competitive behaviour. † Both acts are still waiting for a final vote, but no major changes are expected. The EU has also adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is designed to give people more control over the collection and sharing of their personal information.

“With today’s agreement, we are ensuring that platforms are held accountable for the risks their services may pose to society and citizens.”

European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager

Europe has long been at the forefront of keeping big technology in check, and both the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act could impact the efforts of governments around the world to address issues surrounding major technology platforms. The United States has not yet passed comprehensive laws to address such problems.

According to the DSA, platforms that reach more than 10% of the EU’s population would be subject to independent audits of the steps they take to prevent abuse of their systems, according to a survey from the European Commission. Other steps the law would take would include coercing online marketplaces to help identify sellers of illegal goods, establishing ways for users to flag illegal goods, services or content, and for platforms to work with “trusted flaggers.”

Companies that break the law could face billions of dollars in fines, as well as possible damage to the reputation of their brands.

Major tech companies said they support the EU’s goals, but the specific legislation is crucial.

“Now that the law is finalized and implemented, the details will matter,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “We look forward to working with policymakers to get the remaining technical details right to make sure the law works for everyone.” In addition to its massive search engine, Google owns the top video site YouTube.

Twitter said it looks forward to reviewing the DSA in detail and working with the EU. “We support smart, forward-thinking regulation that balances the need to address harm online and protect the open internet – while also understanding that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t take into account the diversity of our online environment,” said a Twitter spokesperson. in a statement.

TikTok said it is also waiting for details on the legislation. The company supports the “EU goal to harmonize its approach to online content issues” and welcomes the “DSA’s focus on transparency as a means of accountability,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.

Amazon pointed to comments made last June by James Waterworth, the director of EU public policy policy. Waterworth said Amazon is supporting the DSA “by introducing regulated obligations to ensure services act against illegal content.” But such obligations “must be carefully weighed to provide certainty while allowing flexibility.”

Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.

Read more: Obama fights social media misinformation: ‘People are dying’

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This post Amazon, Google, meta under EU law targets on disinformation, harmful content

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