Tech giants call for more content liability protection in the EU

There has been much talk of a ‘Good Samaritan’ principle in the #DigitalServicesAct, however, we are calling for the introduction of a new legal safeguard based on European law and European values. 🇪🇺 pic.twitter.com/JT7SdsPJq2

— EDiMA (@EDiMA_EU) October 26, 2020

Sturdier safeguards would incentivize the companies to strip out offending or illegal content while protecting the “European principle of freedom of expression,” Edima claimed. “We want users to have a meaningful way to get an explanation regarding why their content was removed & be able to easily appeal content removals,” it added. The organization also represents the likes of Spotify, TikTok, eBay, Mozilla, Snap, Yelp and Engadget’s parent company Verizon Media.

EU regulators are looking to “modernize the current legal framework for digital services.” They’re set to propose new Internet regulations under the Digital Services Act in early December.

Edima is sending proposed amendments for legislation to EU lawmakers. Its call comes as US liability protections for tech platforms are under threat. Many prominent politicians, including President Donald Trump, have called for a repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The provision shields companies that depend on user-generated content from liability. If it’s repealed or modified, platforms could have to enforce much heavier moderation.

Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, the CEOs of Facebook and Twitter respectively, will testify in front of a Senate panel next month. The Judiciary Committee subpoenaed them after their services limited the spread of contentious news articles about Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. Committee members plan to grill Zuckerberg and Dorsey over their “platforms’ censorship and suppression of New York Post articles.”