Hate speech and other illegal content on the Internet must be deleted more quickly in the European Union in the future.

Negotiators from the European Parliament and the EU states agreed early on Saturday morning in Brussels on a law on digital services (Digital Services Act, DSA), which is intended to ensure stricter supervision of online platforms and more consumer protection.

The last round of negotiations took a full 16 hours.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen then spoke of a historic agreement.

"Our new rules will protect online users, ensure freedom of expression and open up new opportunities for companies." This is a strong signal for people, companies and countries around the world.

War propaganda is also an issue

Among other things, the DSA should ensure that illegal content such as hate speech is removed from the Internet more quickly, harmful disinformation and war propaganda is shared less and fewer counterfeit products are sold on online marketplaces.

The basic principle is: What is illegal offline should also be online.

Providers of digital services should benefit from legal certainty and uniform rules in the EU.

Large platforms with at least 45 million users have to follow significantly more rules than smaller ones.

Saturday's agreement has to be confirmed again by the European Parliament and the EU states.

This is considered a formality.

Offensive against Big Tech

However, Pirates MP Patrick Breyer was disappointed with the result.

"The new set of rules does not deserve the name "Digital Basic Law" as a whole, because the disappointing deal often fails to protect our fundamental rights on the Internet," said Breyer.

Martin Schirdewan from Die Linke, on the other hand, emphasized: "Through far-reaching transparency obligations, the DSA opens the black box of the algorithms of the online platforms." Alexandra Geese (Greens) said: "Europe is also going on the offensive against the superiority of Big Tech companies."

The DSA is part of a large digital package proposed by the EU Commission in December 2020.

The second part is the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which was agreed at the end of March.

Above all, the DMA is intended to restrict the market power of tech giants such as Google and Facebook with stricter rules.

In Germany, the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) ​​to combat crime and hate speech on the Internet is already in force.

This should be largely replaced by the DSA.

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