The European Commission will soon unveil its landmark Digital Services Act draft law, that will set out a vision for the future of online content responsibility in the EU. We’ve joined up with Twitter, Auttomattic, and Vimeo to provide recommendations on how the EU’s novel proposals can ensure a more thoughtful approach to addressing illegal and harmful content in the EU, in a way that tackles online harms while safeguarding smaller companies’ ability to compete.
As we note in our letter,
“The present conversation is too often framed through the prism of content removal alone, where success is judged solely in terms of ever-more content removal in ever-shorter periods of time.
Without question, illegal content – including terrorist content and child sexual abuse material – must be removed expeditiously. Yet by limiting policy options to a solely stay up-come down binary, we forgo promising alternatives that could better address the spread and impact of problematic content while safeguarding rights and the potential for smaller companies to compete.
Indeed, removing content cannot be the sole paradigm of Internet policy, particularly when concerned with the phenomenon of ‘legal-but-harmful’ content. Such an approach would benefit only the very largest companies in our industry.
We therefore encourage a content moderation discussion that emphasises the difference between illegal and harmful content and highlights the potential of interventions that address how content is surfaced and discovered. Included in this is how consumers are offered real choice in the curation of their online environment.”
We look forward to working with lawmakers in the EU to help bring this vision for a healthier internet to fruition in the upcoming Digital Services Act deliberations.