Tue. May 21st, 2024
The TikTok logo is seen on a mobile phone in front of a computer screen which displays the TikTok home screen, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Boston. Google, Facebook, TikTok and other Big Tech companies operating in Europe are facing one of the most far-reaching efforts to clean up what people encounter online. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

LONDON — Google, Facebook, TikTok and other big tech companies operating in Europe are facing one of the most ambitious efforts to clean up what people encounter online.

The first phase of the European Union’s groundbreaking new digital rules goes into effect this week. The Digital Services Act is one of a series of tech-focused regulations drafted by the 27-nation bloc that has long been a global leader in cracking down on tech giants.

DSA, the largest platform to launch on Friday, is designed to keep users safe online and prevent the spread of harmful content that is illegal or violates the platform’s terms of service, such as such as promoting genocide or anorexia. It also aims to protect basic European rights, such as privacy and free speech.

Some online platforms, which could face billions in fines if they don’t comply, have already started making changes.

Which platforms are affected?

So far, 19. These include eight social media platforms:
Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Snapchat.

There are five online marketplaces:
Amazon,, Alibaba AliExpress in China and Zalando in Germany.

The Google Play mobile app stores and Apple’s App Store are also affected, as are Google’s search engine and Microsoft’s Bing search engine.

Google Maps and Wikipedia complete the list.

What about other online companies?

The EU list is based on figures provided by the platforms. Those with 45 million or more users – or 10% of the EU population – will face DSA regulation at the highest level.

However, Brussels insiders pointed to some notable omissions in the EU listing, such as eBay, Airbnb, Netflix and even Porn Hub. This list is uncertain and it is possible that other platforms will be added later.

Any company that provides digital services to Europeans will eventually have to comply with the DSA. However, they will face fewer obligations than larger platforms and will have an additional six months before having to adjust.

Citing uncertainty about the new regulations, Meta Platforms has delayed the launch of its Twitter rival, Threads, in the EU.

What’s changing?

Platforms have begun rolling out new ways for European users to report illegal online content and questionable products, which companies will be forced to remove quickly and objectively.

Amazon has opened a new channel to report suspected illegal products and provide more information about third-party sellers.


What about the rest of the world?

Changes in Europe that could have a global impact Wikipedia is adjusting some policies and changing its terms of use to provide more information about “problematic users and content”. The non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts the community encyclopedia, says the changes will not be limited to Europe.

“The rules and procedures that govern Wikimedia projects around the world, including any changes to meet the DSA, are as universal as possible. This means that changes to our Terms of Service and Office Action Policy will be rolled out globally,” it said in a statement. Broughton Micova said it would be difficult for tech companies to limit DSA-related changes, adding that digital ad networks are not isolated in Europe and influencers across the globe. Social networks can have a global reach.

Regulations “deal with multichannel networks operating on a global scale. So there will be spillover effects once mitigation measures are in place,” she said.



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