Report on workshop – Online journalism: Digital Services Act and European Media Freedom Act, 23 February 2023

On 23 February 2023, the DSA Observatory and the AI, Media and Democracy Lab organised an online workshop on online journalism and the role of online platforms. Several expert speakers discussed the Digital Services Act, (Article 17 of) the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA), and the safety of journalists and protection of news media content […]

Expert opinion on draft European Media Freedom Act for stakeholder meeting 28 February 2023

by Natali Helberger,* Max van Drunen, Ronan Fahy, Laurens Naudts, Stanislaw Piasecki, Theresa Seipp (all University of Amsterdam, Institute for Information Law (IViR)) In December last year, Twitter suspended without notification the accounts of several leading journalists for alleged violations of the terms of service through their reporting. The move was widely criticised by journalists, […]

The EU is going too far with political advertising!

Max van Drunen, Natali Helberger, Wolfgang Schulz, and Claes de Vreese The EU is set to complement the DSA with a new regulation on (targeted) political advertisements. In this piece we highlight how the regulation’s definition of political advertisements and enforcement mechanisms threaten freedom of expressio Right now, the exclamation above is just a title. […]

Here is why Digital Services Coordinators should establish strong research and data units

In this blogpost, Julian Jaursch explains why Digital Services Coordinators should establish strong research and data units. To detect and mitigate infringements of the Digital Services Act (DSA), member states’ Digital Services Coordinators (DSCs) need a deep understanding of how platforms work and what potential risks are associated with them. Considering also that the DSA contains a multitude of reports and databases to monitor and analyze, member states should equip their DSCs with research and data units that can develop knowledge on platform risks, conduct data analyses, participate in expert communities and support EU-level enforcement efforts.

DSA Observatory’s first newsletter

Last week, we sent our first DSA Observatory newsletter to our subscribers. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter to receive updates on our activities and research and to follow the broader developments around the Digital Services Act. You can read an online version of our first newsletter here.     Photo by Mathyas Kurmann on […]

The DSA’s crisis approach: crisis response mechanism and crisis protocols

In this blog post, Doris Buijs and Ilaria Buri look into the two crisis provisions in the DSA based on which platforms must adopt certain crisis mitigation measures. What do they entail and what can be expected of those provisions in times of multiple and systemic crises?

New open-access e-book “Putting the DSA into Practice: Enforcement, Access to Justice and Global Implications”

The Digital Services Act was finally published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 27 October 2022. It is the result of a years-long drafting and negotiation process, and opens a new chapter: that of its enforcement, practicable access to justice, and potential to set global precedents. The Act has been portrayed as […]

Counting the days: what to expect from risk assessments and audits under the DSA – and when?

Paddy Leerssen The DSA’s most demanding rules are directed at the largest platforms: Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and Very Large Online Search Engines (VLOSEs). This blog post offers a quick overview on two of the most important obligations for these large services, with more than 45 million monthly average active users: risk management, and […]

Using Terms and Conditions to Apply Fundamental Rights to Content Moderation

DSA Observatory – IViR’s researchers João Pedro Quintais, Naomi Appelman and Ronan Fahy published a new article “Using Terms and Conditions to Apply Fundamental Rights to Content Moderation” (forthcoming in German Law Journal). In this article, they critically explore questions around the enforceability of fundamental rights via T&Cs through the prism of Article 14 DSA. […]

Article 17 Media Freedom Act & the Digital Services Act: aligned or alienated?

After almost two years, the DSA has entered into force. In the mean time, a new legislative proposal has been published by the Commission in September 2022: the Media Freedom Act (MFA). Both regulations caused a lot of debate, about – among other things – the so-called “media exemption”. This media exemption could give media a special position, as they would get prior notice from platforms before content moderation decisions. The exemption did not make it into the DSA, but the debate around the exemption has been revitalized with the newly proposed Article 17 MFA, which seems similar to the earlier discussed exemption. In this blog post, we will look into how the MFA tries to define “media service providers”, what Article 17 MFA actually entails and if the critical commenters calling Article 17 MFA the new media exemption can be justified. We will see that this discussion is a bit more complex, mainly due to the complicated interplay between the MFA and the Platform to Business (P2B) Regulation.