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EU agrees on rules to regulate social media content

Negotiators from the European Parliament and EU Member States agreed on Saturday 23 April on new rules for regulating content on the Internet. Big tech companies like META or Google will need to more effectively vet content on their platforms and, if it’s against the law, remove it immediately.

If they fail to do so vigorously, they will face fines of up to billions of dollars. Particularly hateful manifestations must be suppressed more quickly.

The European Parliament and EU member states have yet to formally approve the groundbreaking deal. However, approval is considered a formality.

The Digital Services Act (DSA) is the second point in EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s strategy to limit the power of tech giants. The agreement was reached after more than 16 hours of negotiations.

“We have a deal on DSA: Digital Services Act will ensure that what is illegal offline is seen and treated as illegal online – not as a slogan, as a fact,” Vestager said on Twitter. MEP Dita Charanz, vice-president of the European Parliament, welcomed the agreement on new rules for internet content.

MEP Charanz said the internet will now become a safer place thanks to her proposal for an additional measure to prevent online advertising aimed at children. She said the DSA was the biggest legislative interference in the internet environment in 20 years, but while the regulation tightens requirements, especially for internet giants, it doesn’t unnecessarily burden any of the small businesses in the world. online environment.

“I am happy that my proposal for additional measures for better protection of children has been adopted,” MEP Charanz said in a statement sent to the Czech News Agency. Under the DSA, platform operators risk being fined up to 6% of their worldwide turnover for violating the rules.

In the case of Facebook owner META, violations of the rules could result in a fine of around $7 billion, based on last year’s revenue. In the event of repeated breaches, operators could be banned from doing business in the EU.

The DSA aims, among other things, to ensure that illegal content such as hate speech is removed more quickly from the Internet, to ensure that harmful wartime disinformation and propaganda will be shared less and to reduce sales. counterfeit products on Internet markets. It is part of a large digital package proposed by the European Commission (EC) in December 2020.

Its other part is the Digital Markets Act (DMA), where an agreement was reached at the end of March. The purpose of DMA is to reduce the market power of tech giants such as Google and Facebook (now Meta).

How the EU will handle these new rules in practice is not yet clear, according to the CNBC news site. Critics say the introduction of such measures creates a technical burden for businesses and raises questions about what is and is not acceptable in the online environment.

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