SOn Saturday 23 April, EU Member States, the Commission and Parliament finalized new legislation which will help to better combat abuses of the Internet. Objective: to put an end to hate speech, disinformation campaigns or the sale of counterfeit products.
After several months of negotiations, an agreement has been reached between the European institutions on the Digital Services Act or “DSA”) which will require major platforms, such as Facebook (Meta) or Amazon, to better eradicate content illegal and dangerous online. “This agreement is historic”, immediately welcomed the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. “Our new rules will protect users online, ensure freedom of expression and opportunities for businesses. »
“What is illegal offline must also be illegal online”
According to a press release, the DSA is “a world first” in terms of digital regulation. The text enshrines the principle that “what is illegal offline must also be illegal online”. It aims to protect the digital space against the dissemination of illegal content and to guarantee the protection of the fundamental rights of users. The digital services regulation is one of the two parts of a major plan presented in December 2020 by the European executive.
The first part, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulation, which tackles anti-competitive practices, was concluded at the end of March. Abuses of social networks have often hit the headlines: assassination of history professor Samuel Paty in France after a hate campaign in October 2020, assault of demonstrators on the Capitol in the United States in January 2021, partly planned thanks to Facebook and Twitter…
Counterfeit e-commerce sites
The dark side of the Internet also concerns sales platforms invaded by counterfeit or defective products, which can be dangerous, such as children’s toys that do not meet safety standards. The new regulation establishes the obligation to “promptly” remove any illegal content as soon as a platform becomes aware of it. It forces social networks to suspend users who “frequently” violate the law. The DSA will oblige online sales sites to verify the identity of their suppliers before offering their products.