EU Sends Requests to Meta and TikTok Seeking Details on Measures to Combat Disinformation
The European Commission has given both Meta and TikTok one week to provide information under the Digital Services Act (DSA). The Commission is seeking Meta to provide more information on the measures it has taken to comply with obligations related to risk assessments and mitigation measures to protect the integrity of elections and following the terrorist attacks across Israel by Hamas, in particular with regard to the dissemination and amplification of illegal content and disinformation.
It is also requesting TikTok to provide more information on the measures it has taken to comply with obligations related to the risk assessments and mitigation measures against the spreading of illegal content, in particular the spreading of terrorist and violent content and hate speech, as well as the alleged spread of disinformation. Furthermore, the request addresses TikTok’s compliance with other elements of the DSA, in particular with regards to its provisions related to the protection of minors online.
Based on the assessment of replies, the Commission will assess next steps. This could entail the formal opening of proceedings, the Commission can impose fines for incorrect, incomplete or misleading information in response to a request for information. In case of failure to reply by either organization, the Commission may decide to request the information by decision. In this case, failure to reply by the deadline could lead to the imposition of periodic penalty payments. The organizations have been given two deadlines, one of October 25th and one of November 8th to provide various aspects of the requests.
Following their designation as Very Large Online Platforms, both Meta and TikTok are required to comply with the full set of provisions introduced by the DSA, including the assessment and mitigation of risks related to the dissemination of illegal content, disinformation, and any negative effects on the exercise of fundamental rights.
Very large online platforms and search engines are online services with over 45 million users in the EU. They must comply with the most stringent rules of the DSA.
The Commission sent a similar request to X formerly known as Twitter with a deadline for reply yesterday, Wednesday October 18th. The DSA sets out standards for the accountability of online platforms regarding disinformation, illegal content, such as illegal hate speech, and other societal risks. It includes overarching principles and robust guarantees for freedom of expression and other users’ rights.