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Home // Why Is The European Commission Reforming The Digital Space?

The European Commission has proposed a reform of the digital space and of social media platforms that operate in the European Union.

The new reforms target the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act in a consolidated attempt to protect the fundamental rights of consumers and social media users. The proposals result from the growing acceptance that social media platforms can be used as a vehicle for publishing private information and illegal content, including defamatory and harassing material.

To tackle this abuse of social media, the regulators are seeking to impose wider obligations on all social media companies. The new framework aims to re balance the rights and responsibilities of users based on fundamental European values of respect for human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law.

What Is Proposed?

The new framework hopes to achieve this new balance by introducing a series of EU wide obligations for digital services such as:

  • Removal of illegal goods, services or content online;
  • Protection for users whose content has been erroneously deleted by platforms;
  • New obligations for larger platforms to instigate risk assessments and minimise potential abuse of their systems;
  • Requiring platforms to be transparent when it comes to algorithms applied to online advertising and content recommendations for users
  • Permitting researchers to have access to data that shows how a particular platform
  • Traceability protocols to track business users in online market places to assist in apprehending sellers of illegal goods or services;

The framework also seeks to promote an innovative cooperation process among public authorities to ensure effective enforcement across the single market.

The new framework will also introduce a board of national Digital Services Coordinators with special powers to supervise large social media platform including the ability to sanction social media platforms directly. The European Parliament and the Member are to discuss the Commission’s proposal.

Comment

We believe the proposals will make social media companies more accountable and rebalance the current law in favour of platform users. When implemented the rules will provide a useful tool in our work on behalf of clients affected by harmful online material and related matters. To discuss the proposals or if you have concerns about online material or services call director Shubha Nath at Nath Solicitors on 44 (0) 203 670 5540 or contact the firm online.

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