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.

European Commission Articulates Priorities for Implementing the DSA 

The European Commission has clarified its focus for implementing the DSA. The Commission will first work on implementing procedural regulation and delivering delegated acts on the supervisory fees and independent external audits. Four other implementing and delegated acts and five guidance documents will take a lower priority. Pim ten Thije provides a handy overview of the focus areas and other acts and guidelines to come.

The Digital Services Act & the implications for the safety of journalists (Part 2)

In this second part of the blog post on the implications of the DSA on journalism, we look into the safety of journalists and other media actors. Online harassment of journalists is a widely-reported topic, but nevertheless still increasing problem. What DSA provisions are the most promising for ensuring and increasing that much-needed safe climate for journalism online? And what actors, beside online platforms, can play their part using some of the DSA provisions to benefit journalism?

Average monthly active recipients in the DSA: definition, grey areas, and how to calculate? 

The Digital Services Act designates VLOPs and VLOSEs based on their number of ‘average monthly active recipients’. How can and should online platforms calculate their number of ‘AMARs’? What role will embedded content and auto-completed search results play? And will the discounting of bots, scrapers and ‘double’ visitors lead to extra tracking of platforms’ recipients? This blog dives deep into the concept of average monthly active recipients.

Twitter Alludes to Implementing Article 40, DSA (Data Access & Scrutiny)

Twitter’s ‘Moderation Research Consortium’ now accepts applications by all interested researchers. DSA Observatory Researcher Pim ten Thije looks into the TMRC’s compliance with Article 40 of the Digital Services Act on data access and scrutiny. He recaps the DSA’s access obligations for researchers and governments and discusses what Twitter will need to change to be compliant.

The Digital Services Act and the Implications for News Media and Journalistic Content (Part 1)

This blog post looks into the implications of the DSA on the media, in specific: protection of journalistic and media content under the DSA. What (procedural) rights can be used by journalists to protect their content online? And what are the platforms’ obligations to protect media freedom and freedom of expression?

Empirical research in Content Moderation and Access to Justice: do the remedies fit the harms?

The results of this empirical survey suggest that the available remedies in the Netherlands offer insufficient access to justice for the online harm people experience.

Council of Europe guidelines on managing the impact of digital technologies on freedom of expression complement the DSA

Prof. Natali Helberger published a blog post on the Media@LSE blog titled: How Council of Europe guidelines on managing the impact of digital technologies on freedom of expression complement the DSA. Read on for a short introduction and more.

The Digital Services Act: Adoption, Entry into Force and Application Dates

DSA Observatory Researcher Pim ten Thije clarifies the DSA’s adoption, entry into force and application dates. When will the new far-reaching obligations apply to (very large) online platforms, when will national regulators be required to be in place, when will the European Commission assume its new regulatory powers, and when exactly will the DSA be the law of the European Union?