TODAY, EDiMA, the voice of the leading internet companies, has called for the introduction of a legal safeguard to enhance the ability of internet companies to tackle illegal content online within the Digital Services Act.
The association is calling for the introduction of a legal safeguard which would allow companies to take proactive actions to remove illegal content and activity from their services, without the risk of additional liability for those attempts to tackle illegal content.
Current EU rules lack this crucial provision, which has a chilling effect on service providers who want to do more to tackle illegal activity online.
Siada El Ramly, Director General of EDiMA, said:
“All of our members take their responsibility very seriously and want to do more to tackle illegal content and activity online. A European legal safeguard for service providers would give them the leeway to use their resources and technology in creative ways in order to do so.
In the US, the ‘Good Samaritan’ principle allows service providers to take measures to address illegal and harmful content without incurring liability – however this principle is often viewed as a carte blanche for service providers to overact on content that is not strictly illegal. What EDiMA proposes is a safeguard that is based clearly on EU law and subject to European oversight.
In this latest paper in its landmark Online Responsibility Framework Series, the association of 19 leading internet companies outlines a number of important distinctions between the legal safeguard they are advocating for and the US Good Samaritan Principle. These include that its implementation should be subject to oversight for ‘overaction’, in order to protect the European principle of freedom of expression.
El Ramly, EDiMA’s Director General, continued:
“The EU approach to the freedom of expression is different to that of the US so our approach to moderating content online must be different also. Our proposal is based on European values and laws and sets clear limits to the legal safeguard for service providers in order to protect the freedom of expression and to prevent overaction by service providers.”
The paper recommends the introduction of additional new safeguards for service providers and for users, including minimum information levels in notices of illegal content and the requirement for a human review of appeals of removal of content. The paper acknowledges the need for an appropriate governance structure to manage these provisions and EDiMA will detail potential approaches to governance in the final paper in its Online Responsibility Framework series, to be published next month.
Siada El Ramly, Director General of EDiMA, concluded:
“What we are proposing is something novel and it is testament to the commitment of the members of EDiMA to do more to tackle illegal content online and to engage constructively. We all have a responsibility to bring forward solutions and a legal safeguard to better tackle illegal content online is a strong one.”
Ronan Breen, Account Director
For more information from EDiMA contact:
+32 2 626 1990
Notes to editor:
- Download the paper “Introduction of Neccesarry Safeguards” here: https://edima-eu.org/library/edima-online-responsibility-framework-series-introduction-of-necessary-safeguards/
- The “Introduction of Necessary Safeguards” paper is the latest in a landmark series of papers expanding on EDiMA’s Online Responsibility Framework. The Framework was launched earlier this year after extensive consultation with EDiMA’s significant membership. More information is available here: https://edima-eu.org/policy-areas/online-responsibility-framework/
- EDiMA is the voice of the leading internet companies and the most popular internet products in Europe. EDiMA stands for an internet which enables companies to grow and allows customers to make the most of the opportunities it offers. More information is available here: https://edima-eu.org/
- EDiMA represents the leading online marketplaces, browsers, entertainment platforms, review sites and social networks, which offer consumers some of the most popular internet products every single day.
- The members include Airbnb, Allegro, Amazon, Apple, eBay, Etsy, Expedia, Facebook, Google, King, Microsoft, Mozilla, OLX, Snap, Spotify, TikTok, Twitter, Verizon Media and Yelp. More information is available here: https://edima-eu.org/members/