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How Big Tech really feels about the EU’s crackdown

How Big Tech really feels about the EU’s crackdown


The EU’s Digital Services Act is supposed to reign in Big Tech, but it will likely have the opposite effect. Also: reading the tea leaves on Amazon’s latest exec shakeup.

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Thierry Breton.
EU Commissioner Thierry Breton.
Illustration by William Joel/The Verge; Photo by Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

With the EU’s Digital Services Act now being enforced, 19 of the largest online platforms are subject to the most stringent tech regulations ever imposed by the Western world. These Very Large Online Platforms, or VLOPs, as the EU calls them, all have at least 45 million monthly users in the bloc. That deems them “systemically relevant,” according to EU Commissioner Thierry Breton.

EU citizens will observe the impact of the DSA immediately. The big social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, now let people in the EU opt out of having their feeds personalized. They have to be more clear about how and why they moderate a wider range of content, and they have to let people in the EU appeal those decisions. And all of the ads these platforms run in the EU will be browsable in each company’s respective ad library. 

Most of the VLOPs have put out press releases touting their compliance with the DSA and the level of effort that went into achieving it. Meta president Nick Clegg’s blog post boasts that the company “assembled one of the largest cross-functional teams in our history, with over 1,000 people currently working on the DSA.” Google’s post lists the “significant investments” it has made to comply with the new rules, though it hasn’t shared a headcount number. The EU government, meanwhile, is expecting to have only about 230 staff members actually enforce the DSA, according to The Wall Street Journal.   

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