[ExI] New EU Digital Services Act

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Apr 26 23:35:07 UTC 2022

On Tue, 26 Apr 2022 at 20:24, spike jones via extropy-chat
<extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> OK then.  If Twitter was allowed to operate in Europe before, is there any reason to think it shouldn't be allowed to operate with all the same rules as before but with those rules public?
> spike
> _______________________________________________

The EU official was referring to the new Digital Services Act that all
the EU members have just agreed to last weekend. So the old rules
won't apply. The new DSA is intended to control the giant social


Digital Services Act: The EU’s strict new rules for online content
by Elaine Burke   25 April 2022

What counts as illegal content?
The illegal content targeted under the DSA is broad and sweeping. It
includes hate speech, child sexual abuse material, scams,
non-consensual sharing of private images, promotion of terrorism, the
sale of counterfeit or unsafe products and copyright infringement.

Is there more to it than illegal content?
Yes, much more.

Very large platforms need to be able to monitor and manage any harmful
content, which includes disinformation.

Platforms are also going to have to ensure their interfaces don’t
intentionally mislead users using what the European Parliament calls
“dark patterns”.
These tricks of UI include manipulative ‘nudge tactics’ such as giving
more prominence to certain buttons or links that will lead users to
opt in to something, while obscuring the steps to opt out. According
to the Digital Services Act, cancelling a subscription should be as
easy as subscribing.

What about targeted content?
Remarkably, the EU is also demanding access to platforms’
recommendations engines to ensure algorithmic accountability and
transparency. The algorithms that recommend content to users are very
much the secret sauce of online platforms and not something they will
be keen to expose. (Though advocates for ‘explainable AI’ argue that
this makes systems more trustworthy and could drive innovation.)

On the users’ side, platforms will have to offer the option to switch
off any profiling used for recommendations.

Ad targeting also takes a hit under these rules. Users are to be given
more control over the advertising they are exposed to while targeting
users based on sensitive information such as religion, ethnicity or
sexual orientation is now prohibited.

When it comes to children, all ad targeting is effectively banned. In
fact, where platforms are aware of users that are minors, they will be
required to have special protection measures in place.

The DSA seems to be a pretty determined effort to get the big social
networks to behave more responsibly and make sure they are not
damaging their millions of customers.


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