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this has to change

The European Commission today announces its plans on how certain online platforms will work. This concerns, for example, the way in which articles or videos are recommended by Facebook and YouTube.

Users more influence

Users should have more influence over what they see on major platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, according to plans of the European Commission about which the NOS writes. The plans will be presented this afternoon but are already in the hands of, among others, the NOS.

According to the European Commission, online platforms play an increasingly important role in our democracy. However, they are hardly subject to the legislation that applies in Europe. That must change. It is not always clear why a user sees a particular message at the top of their timeline. For example, other messages are not shown to others at all, or until much later. The networks need to be much more transparent about this. It must be made clear why certain articles or videos are recommended to the user.

The European Commission also wants users to have more control over this. There should be an option whereby users can disable recommendations based on their profile. The rules must apply to so-called very large platforms. This includes Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube.

The NOS also writes that companies should monitor more closely what content is being shared. If there are illegal videos (such as child pornography or calls to violence), a user must be able to report this to the relevant platform. These images must then be taken offline as soon as possible. The European Commission wants reports from organizations fighting against this to take precedence in these types of reports; because they are seen as a trusted reporter.

Another interesting proposal from the European Commission is that in the event of an emergency, the platforms should switch to a ‘crisis mode’. Fake news should then be less easy to spread.

The proposals will be presented this afternoon. After that, the plans will be discussed by the European Parliament and European countries. It can certainly take years before the finishing touches are completed and the law is implemented.

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