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Exclusive: EU Commission to give Big Tech DSA guidelines on protection of minors

Children work on laptops during class.
Children work on laptops during class. Copyright Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune
Copyright Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune
By Cynthia Kroet
Published on
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The Commission has begun several investigations into child protection online.

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Online platforms will be given specific guidelines under the Digital Services Act (DSA) on the protection of minors in the second quarter of 2025, a spokesperson for the European Commission told Euronews.

The move comes after the Commission started several investigations under the DSA to check whether online platform's measures to protect minors online are compliant with the rules. 

Preparatory work has begun within the Digital Services Board, which comprises all DSA regulators from the member states. Those monthly meetings started last February with the aim to streamline enforcement priorities: the protection of minors online is a focus area of the EU executive under the platform rules.

It will be the second set of principles to come out under the DSA, after the Commission already published election guidelines ahead of the June EU vote to help very large online platforms and search engines to mitigate risks impacting the integrity of elections and their services.

Probes into Meta, TikTok

The Commission began investigating Meta in May with a focus on the design of Facebook's and Instagram's online interfaces, which could “exploit the weaknesses and inexperience of minors and cause addictive behaviour”, the EU executive said.

It opened a similar probe in April into TIkTok after the social media platform launched its TikTok Lite app in France and Spain. The EU executive quizzed the video sharing app about its potential impact on the mental health of users, in particular in relation to the potential stimulation of addictive behaviour. In response, TikTok said it will voluntarily stop the roll-out of Lite for the time being. 

John Evans, the digital services commissioner at Irish media regulator Coimisiún na Meán, told Euronews in March that several working groups are preparing topics that might require further action under the DSA Board. 

“[The focus is on] thematic issues, like elections and protection of minors. A big question is what is the best way to cooperate and to figure out the regulatory landscape,” he said.

Ireland is at the forefront of DSA enforcement, after the stringent platform rules – that include transparency and election integrity requirements – started applying to all online platforms on 17 February. Dublin is home to 13 of the 23 Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and search engines that are so far designated by the Commission, including Google, TikTok, Meta and fashion website Shein.

Election guidelines

The DSA election guidelines, published in March, were subject to a voluntary stress test by platforms. 

A spokesperson for the Commission told Euronews at the time that 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."

The first probe under the DSA, formally launched in December into X, is still awaiting an outcome. 

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