Nineteen platforms, including Wikipedia, Booking and TikTok, will fall under extra strict rules of the new Digital Services Act, the European Commission has announced. They are seen as ‘very large online platforms’.
As a result, they must, for example, take measures to protect minors against content “that may impair their physical, mental or moral development”. In the event of a crisis or natural disaster, they must also be able to quickly adjust their algorithms on request.
It further means that these platforms must do additional risk management and have independent investigations conducted. In addition, they must share their data with governments and researchers, and draw up a code of conduct.
AliExpress, Amazon, Apple’s App Store, Bing, Facebook, several Google platforms, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube and Zalando will also fall under these new rules.
“Large companies have a great responsibility,” says European Commissioner Thierry Breton. According to the Digital Services Act, these online platforms have so much influence on the system that they have an extra responsibility to make the internet safer.
Companies with more than 45 million monthly users in the European Union, which is about 10 percent of the population, could fall under the stricter rules. The Commission may announce a few more names in the coming weeks.
If the companies do not follow the rules, they can be fined up to 6 percent of annual turnover. Depending on the company, this can therefore be hundreds of millions or even billions of euros. If they break the rules more often, it may eventually be decided that they are no longer allowed to do business in the European Union.
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