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EU Policy. Meta, TikTok, X invited to stress-test DSA election guidelines

A campaign by the European Parliament to call upon people to register to vote.
A campaign by the European Parliament to call upon people to register to vote. Copyright Luis MILLAN/ European Union 2024 - Source : EP
Copyright Luis MILLAN/ European Union 2024 - Source : EP
By Cynthia Kroet
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Companies will work through possible scenarios such as a disinformation campaign that aims to undermine the EU vote.

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Meta, TikTok, X and other online platforms have been invited by the European Commission to stress-test election guidelines next Wednesday (24 April). The test, which is voluntary, will help prepare the platforms for the European elections in June, a Commission spokesperson told Euronews.

The elections guidelines were published by the EU executive last month under the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) to help very large online platforms and search engines to mitigate risks that may impact the integrity of elections and their services. 

All very large platforms and search engines — online platforms with more than 45 million users in the EU such as Amazon, Booking.com and Google Search — are invited to the workshop next week, along with national Digital Services Coordinators, which oversee national enforcement of the DSA, and several civil society organisations.

“The aim of the exercise is for all stakeholders to further get to know one another, their respective roles and responsibilities, their interdependencies, and to further encourage a collaborative mindset as envisaged by DSA and the Election Guidelines,” a spokesperson for the Commission said.

Participants will work through multiple scenarios that could be used to address incidents, such as a disinformation campaign that aims to undermine the elections. The exercise will be used for all participants to explain their plans, procedures and policies in place and will allow the Commission to test existing cooperation measures and processes and identify gaps.

Several companies say they have already started introducing election safeguards ahead of the June vote; Meta and TikTok have set up so-called election centres to combat misinformation.

The Digital Services Act started applying to all online platforms on 17 February, regardless of their size, which means that such companies must comply with the general obligations, such as putting in place a user-friendly notice and action system, bans on targeted ads for children, and enhanced transparency reporting.

As of next week, the toughest provisions of the DSA will also apply to Pornhub, Stripchat and XVideos, as they have recently been designated as VLOPs, the Commission announced today.

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