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‘It’s important to get rid of the pollution in our digital environment’ Schaldemose

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The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) adopted its position on the Digital Services Act (DSA) proposal. The main reporter Christel Schaldemose (S&D, DK) compared the current situation to the fight against environmental pollution.

She said that the Parliament’s proposals were in line with the revelations of Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen: “We are opening up the black box of algorithms. We’re suggesting that the very large online platforms will need to assess the dissemination of illegal content, but also content that might be in breach of their own terms and conditions. and other content that can have a negative impact.”

The DSA aims to improve responsibility and accountability rules for providers of intermediary services, and in particular online platforms. Very large online platforms (VLOPs) will be subject to specific obligations due to the risks they present in the dissemination of both illegal and harmful content.

“The DSA is bringing EU tech regulation into the 21st century and it is about time,” said Schaldemose; she went on to list some of the negative impacts, “algorithms challenge our democracies by disseminating hatred and division, tech giants challenge our level playing field, and online marketplaces challenge our consumer protection standards and product safety. This has to stop. For this reason, we are building a new framework, so that what is illegal offline is also illegal online.”

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Committee Chairwoman Anna Cavazzini (Greens/EFA, DE) added: “Instead of platforms dictating the rules, the DSA will lay out how to deal with illegal content and content moderation. Additional rules for very large platforms, such as risk assessment and audits, will benefit consumers, our societies and our democracies. Today's committee vote clears the way for a vote by MEPs in January’s plenary and then the start of negotiations with Council. As one of this parliamentary term’s widest-ranging pieces of legislation on digital policy, I am happy that we found compromises that a broad majority can support."

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