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EU Requests Information from Meta and TikTok on Handling of Israel-Hamas Conflict

The European Union has officially knocked on the doors of Meta and TikTok, requesting detailed information under the DSA
October 23, 2023

Meta and TikTok have both received formal requests for information from the European Union under the Digital Services Act (DSA). This move comes as the EU expresses concerns about illegal content and disinformation on social media platforms, particularly in the context of recent events in the Middle East and the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The European Commission has issued similar warnings to Meta, TikTok, and YouTube, but as of now, only Meta and TikTok have received formal requests for information.

Meta is being asked to provide details on its compliance with DSA obligations related to risk assessments and mitigation measures concerning election integrity and the dissemination of illegal content and disinformation.

For TikTok, the request is related to its obligations to apply risk assessments and mitigation measures against illegal content, especially content related to terrorism, violence, and hate speech. Additionally, it addresses child protection and other aspects of the DSA.

The DSA has brought a significant shift in compliance for digital services, particularly large online platforms. Failure to comply with DSA regulations carries substantial risks, including fines of up to 6% of annual global turnover for confirmed breaches. It also empowers the EU to block access to services in cases of serious and repeated violations.

It's important to note that these formal requests for information are distinct from formal investigations, but they could potentially lead to such investigations in the future. This development underscores the increasing scrutiny and expectations surrounding content moderation on major tech platforms.

Both Meta and TikTok are expected to respond to the Commission's requests for information regarding their compliance with DSA obligations.

Meta has previously outlined some steps it has taken to address issues related to events in Israel and Gaza, and TikTok is set to release its first transparency report under the DSA next week, providing more information about its efforts to ensure safety within the European community.

The European Commission's recommendations for Member States regarding DSA implementation have also been published, emphasizing the need for a coordinated approach to oversight as these regulations come into effect.

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