The European Union has published a list of 19 digital platforms, including giants such as Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, that will have to undergo enhanced controls starting at the end of August. Also on the list are major services from Amazon, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, all with more than 45 million monthly active users across the 27 EU countries.
Companies will have to submit to annual audits and adhere to procedures for dealing with disinformation and hate speech. Companies that do not comply with the law after August 25 will have to pay fines of up to 6% of their global revenues and could even face a temporary ban from operating in Europe. The EU adopted two very strict laws, one on digital services (DSL) and the other on digital markets (DML), in an effort to bring order to the operations of digital giants in the European space.
These are mostly US-based companies, but they also include video platform TikTok and online retailer AliExpress, both from China, as well as German online clothing retailer Zalando. These firms will have to expose their operating algorithms to European Commission experts and make their data available to selected EU-backed researchers. These rules, which are imposed only on very large platforms, are in addition to those already in place for all social networks, marketplaces, and search engines, whatever their size. The rules imposed on all digital players will come into force on February 17, 2024.
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