The European Union reached an agreement Saturday on the Digital Services Act (DSA), landmark legislation that forces tech giants to aggressively go after “illegal” content on their platforms. And perhaps the biggest cheerleader for the move is former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The former First Lady, before DSA’s passage, tweeted that tech platforms have been allowed for too long to “amplify disinformation and extremism with no accountability.” She urged the EU to pass the act and reinforce global democracy “before it’s too late.”
For the record, this is the same Hillary Clinton who’s former campaign attorney faces federal indictment for tall tales to the FBI about the 2016 Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.
As for DSA, firms like Google and Facebook parent Meta risk multi-billion-dollar fines if illegal and harmful postings are not taken down rapidly. New procedures are required to erase illegal content like hate speech, incitement to terrorism and content deemed disinformation.
Fines under the DSA may total up to 6% of a company’s annual global revenues, which can reach ten figures for the largest platforms. Based on 2021 revenue, Facebook parent Meta could face fines and penalties as high as $7 billion.
Sites that rely on user-generated content such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok all fall under the new law.
Online advertising is also a large focus of DSA, as tech companies now face more regulations governing how they target users. The law will effectively stop them from using algorithms based on data such as gender, race, or religion to aim at specific users and audiences. All advertising targeting children will be illegal.
The move by the EU means Europe is ahead of an issue U.S. lawmakers also are wrestling with. On Thursday, former President Barack Obama told a Stanford University audience that large tech companies have shirked their responsibilities for eliminating online disinformation. He called for further government regulation of social media platforms, a position echoed by many Washington lawmakers.
Autocrats love to preach that the Constitution is a “living” document in their attempts to circumvent the clear intentions of the framers. And yes, the left has given up any pretense of defending the 2nd Amendment, but when did they throw the 1st Amendment out of the window as well?