Facebook and Instagram have been named as two of 19 “very large online platforms” subject to the strictest requirements of the new law, and Meta has until the end of August 2023 to comply with the Digital Services Act (DSA). Other platforms on the list include:
- Amazon Store
- Apple App Store
- Google Play, Google Maps, Google Search, Google Shopping
The designated online platforms must establish systems to report and remove illegal content, increase transparency for end users about how algorithms are used as well as allow opt-outs from such profiling, and stop all targeted advertising to minors.
Meta has already implemented some of the provisions under pressure from regulators, such as stopping personalized advertising aimed at under-18s.
From now on, all Facebook and Instagram users in the European Union will be able to turn off personalized content. Instead of seeing content based on their past activities and personal profile, they can opt for a feed that only includes content from people or brands they follow, listed in chronological order. All social media searches will be based solely on their entered keywords, without shaping algorithms based on personal data collected by Meta. The changes apply to Reels, Stories, Search and other segments of Instagram and Facebook where Meta can rank content.
Additional transparency measures will include easier access to tools for reporting suspected illegal content and more information for people whose content or account has been restricted by Meta, including appeal options. The company also published 22 “system cards” to explain how its algorithms rank content and how this can be adjusted.
In addition, there will be a much more comprehensive Ad Library, with information on all ads targeting people in the EU, along with the dates the ads were shown, the parameters used for targeting (e.g. age, gender, location), who was shown a certain ad, and other details. This data will be available to the public for one year after the ad starts running on Facebook or Instagram.