20 years after the introduction of the European E-Commerce Directive, the Digital Services Act (DSA) was presented yesterday by the European Commission to complement the aging Directive. Twenty years ago, when the E-Commerce Directive (which still regulates the internal market for online services) was introduced, there were no social media platforms as we know them today. Regulation aimed at the requirements of the platform economy is therefore urgently needed. In addition to the Digital Services Act, the Commission also presented the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which is directed at platforms with a gatekeeper function. The DMA supplements regulations on competition law and is intended to limit the market power of the larger digital corporations.
The EU Commission chooses the right approaches to regulate disinformation
Find the original article in German here.
While in Germany one often has the feeling that disinformation does not pose a serious threat to social cohesion and democratic discourse, the debate has already progressed considerably at the European level. With the “European Democracy Action Plan” presented on 3 December 2020, the EU Commission, in particular the liberal Vice-President of the Commission Věra Jourová, shows that it has not only understood the problems caused by disinformation, but that it is also choosing the right regulatory approaches.
Nikola Hořejš, Matěj Jungwirth, Jitka Uhrová, STEM Research Institute
In the spring of 2020, the STEM institute, supported by the Prague office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, carried out an extensive investigation of Czech seeders of disinformation. They are currently estimated to make up approximately 5 % of the Czech society. Through the combination of a quantitative survey and 13 qualitative in-depth interviews, the seeder group was found to be more affluent, educated and interested in politics than media stereotypes would suggest. Furthermore, seeders’ motivations and media literacy levels vary greatly, wherefore one-size-fits-all solutions could be rather counterproductive. For example, some groups of seeders would benefit from basic media literacy initiatives, while others are immune to any official communication or even warnings.
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