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Regulation of content moderation: A European overview

The European Commission adopted a proposal for a Digital Services Act (DSA) on the 15th December 2020. The proposal preserves the essential elements of the E-Commerce Directive and added a number of measures to, amongst other things: incentivise pro-active take down of illegal content, harmonise notice and takedown rules, establish user redress mechanisms and increase transparency. Rules are graduated with so-called Very Large Online Platforms expected to be more accountable.

The DSA followed hot on the heels of recent national laws in Germany, Austria and France all with similar objectives. The Commission’s proposal has not curbed the ambitions of Europe’s national governments and in the months following its publication, we’ve seen new laws emerge, while the UK, albeit outside the EU today, also embarks on its own legislation to protect against online harms.

Europe today presents a fragmented picture for internet platforms. In the following pages we have provided an overview of how these legislative proposals match up. Brought to you by the Interel Global Partnership, a best-in-class network of independent public affairs agencies that is the right partner for any company seeking to navigate a uniquely complex legislative and political environment.

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