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Impact of the Digital Services Act on your online community

Since passed, this act may have a substantial effect on how your online community is managed and moderated. These measures aim to create a safe and trustworthy online space for people to engage.

What is the Digital Services Act?

The DSA was passed in March 2022 and will affect online communities including forums, discussion boards, social media sites (especially larger platforms), and other organizations that have users in the European Union regarding digital ads and moderation, particularly the accountability, and transparency of them, in addition to other topics.

For community users

The DSA could...
Provide more transparency and protection in content moderation
Regulate and make targeted advertising more transparent
Aid in creating a safer community space by allowing freedom of speech while also discourging harmful or illegal content
Prevent platforms from altering their algorithm based on your profile.
Avoid misleading messaging for specific services.
Require platforms to avoid purposely misleading design practices so you are not manipulated or deceived.

For community admins

The DSA could require or need to consider...
  • Providing transparency reports for online advertising and content moderation
  • Understanding and adapting targeted marketing strategies as they may be heavily regulated for better transparency or outright banned
  • Adding to or train moderation teams in best practices and how to better mitigate harmful or illegal content
  • Learning about technology available to make reporting and moderation easier and more effective
  • Carrying out a risk reduction analysis to monitor areas focused in illegal content, reduction of rights, user security, and mental and physical health.
  • Immediate removal of illegal products, services, or content.

What is the timeline for Digital Services Act?

The Digital Services Act (DSA) was passed in March 2022 and will require large platforms and search engines to more closely monitor illegal content on their platforms. Although the DSA has been passed, it will not go fully into affect until July 2023, but it's best to remain informed and make compliance changes as early as you can.

Takeaways for moving forward

  • change is happening
    The trend towards data privacy and creating a safer online experience is growing along with discontent with large social media platforms.
  • other regulations are developing
    More regulations are being developed as well like the Digital Markets Act and the Online Safety Bill in the United Kingdom.
  • align your community
    Start preparing for and making changes that align with consumer desires and potential regulations.
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