Meta posted about “New Features and Additional Transparency Measures as the Digital Services Act Comes Into Effect”. It was posted by Nick Clegg, President, Global Affairs, on Meta’s Newsroom. From the post:
Later this month, the European Union’s Digital Services Act (DSA), one of the most comprehensive pieces of internet regulation, will begin to fully apply to Facebook, Instagram, and a number of other tech platforms and services. It is a big deal not just for European tech companies but for all tech companies that operate in the EU, and it will have a significant impact on the experiences Europeans have when they open their phones or fire up their laptops.
Meta has long advocated for a harmonized regulatory regime that effectively protects people’s rights online, while continuing to enable innovation. For this reason, we welcome the ambition for greater transparency, accountability, and user empowerment that sits at the heart of regulations like DSA, GDPR, and the ePrivacy Directive. The DSA in particular provides greater clarity on the roles and responsibilities of online platforms and it is right to seek to hold large platforms like ours to account through things like reporting and auditing, rather than attempting to micromanage individual pieces of content.
We’ve been working hard since the DSA came into force last November to respond to these new rules and adapt the existing safety and integrity systems and processes we have in place in many of the areas regulated by the DSA. We assembled one of the largest cross-functional teams in our history, with over 1,000 people currently working on DSA, to develop solutions to the DSA’s requirements. These include measures to increase transparency about how our systems work, and to give people more options to tailor their experiences on Facebook and Instagram. We have also established a new, independent compliance function to help us meet our regulatory obligations on an ongoing basis…
The Verge reported that European users will be able to access features like Reels, Stories, and Search on Facebook and Instagram without seeing content that’s been ranked by Meta’s recommendation algorithms.
“For example, on Facebook and Instagram, users will have the option to view Stories and Reels only from people they follow, ranked in chronological order, newest to oldest,” Clegg writes. “They will also be able to view Search results based only on the words they enter, rather than personalized specifically to them based on their previous activity and personal interests.”
According to The Verge, Meta is making the changes to comply with the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), a new piece of regulation that will impact how tech companies moderate content on their platforms. In particular, the DSA requires very large online platforms to allow users to opt out of receiving personalized recommendations. TikTok announced a similar change to its service in Europe earlier this month. Meta says it will need to comply with the DSA by later this month.
TechCrunch reported that under the DSA, users of larger platforms – 19 of which the EU designated back in April – must be offered a choice of a non-algorithmic feed, where content sorting is not based on tracking.
In my opinion, the European Digital Services Act is going to be very helpful. Nobody wants to be tracked by the social media they are using. We could use a law similar to this one for users of Meta’s products who live in the United States.