EU names 19 companies that will face online content rules

EU industry chief Thierry Breton has revealed that 19 companies will be subject to landmark EU online content rules, Reuters news report said.
Laptop for online learning studentsFive Alphabet subsidiaries, two Meta Platforms units, two Microsoft businesses, Twitter and Alibaba’s AliExpress are among 19 companies subject to landmark EU online content rules.

The rules known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) require the tech companies to do risk management, conduct external and independent auditing, share data with authorities and researchers and adopt a code of conduct by August.

The 19 companies include Alphabet’s Google Maps, Google Play, Google Search, Google Shopping and YouTube, Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, Amazon’s Marketplace and Apple’s App Store.

The others are Microsoft’s two units Linkedin and Bing, booking.com, Pinterest, Snap Inc’s Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, Wikipedia, Zalando and Alibaba’s AliExpress.

“We consider these 19 online platforms and search engines have become systematically relevant and have special responsibilities to make the internet safer,” Thierry Breton told reporters.

The companies will have to do more to tackle disinformation, give more protection and choice to users and ensure stronger protection for children or risk fines as much as 6 percent of their global turnover.

Thierry Breton said he was checking to see whether another four to five companies fall under the DSA, with a decision expected in the next few weeks.

Thierry Breton singled out Facebook’s content moderation system for criticism because of its role in building opinions on key issues.

“Now that Facebook has been designated as a very large online platform, Meta needs to carefully investigate the system and fix it where needed ASAP,” Thierry Breton said.

Twitter and TikTok also showed up high on Breton’s radar.

“At the invitation of Elon Musk, my team and I will carry out a stress test live at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco,” Thierry Breton said.

“We are also committed to a stress test with TikTok which has expressed also interest. So I look forward to an invitation to Bytedance’s headquarters to understand better the origin of Tiktok,” Thierry Breton said.

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