We saw this coming a mile off (see EiM #88
) but Twitter, Mozilla, Automattic and Vimeo this week implored the European Commission to create a flexible approach
to harmful content ahead of the publication of the Digital Services Act
next week (15 December).
Unlike episodes in the past, this doesn’t look like big tech trying to shirk their responsibilities: the letter recommends a ‘tech-neutral and human rights-based approach’ and lists all four companies’ support for:
- algorithmic transparency and control
- setting limits to the discoverability of harmful content
- further exploring community moderation
- providing meaningful user choice (eg opting out of ads)
It all feels a bit late (how many changes to the DSA are likely to be made in the final six days before publication?) but it shows that the digital dominant platforms — and some smaller ones — are worried: they fear stricter takedown reporting, faster turnaround times and enforced transparency. And that means big changes for their businesses.
On the topic of the Digital Services Act, FEPS
— an EU think tank —has an interesting looking event
on Wednesday next week to take a first look at the new proposals. It’s free to attend and has a great panel. (Thanks to Justin for flagging).