The Digital Services Act (DSA): A General Assessment
in Antje von Ungern-Sternberg (ed.), Content Regulation in the European Union – The Digital Services Act, TRIER STUDIES ON DIGITAL LAW, Volume 1, Verein für Recht und Digitalisierung e.V., Institute for Digital Law (IRDT), Trier April 2023
33 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2023 Last revised: 11 May 2023
Date Written: April 15, 2023
Effective since November 16, 2022, the Digital Services Act (DSA) introduces an innovative and pragmatic regulatory approach, utilizing novel and ingenious mechanisms to update and complement the current rules governing online platforms while adapting to their present characteristics. This article presents and comments the main features of the DSA, while highlighting the potential challenges that could arise during its implementation. The first section outlines the five key aspects of the DSA, including the asymmetric nature of the Regulation, which adjusts rules and obligations to suit the size and activities of regulated entities; the preservation of the exemption from liability established by the E-Commerce Directive, along with the inclusion of a new Good Samaritan clause; the creation of new obligations in content moderation to ensure the effective combating of objectionable content and the protection of users' rights; the establishment of specific obligations to protect users and consumers and respond to crisis situations; and finally, the original provisions concerning the enforcement of the DSA. The second part of the article concentrates on identifying the potential challenges of implementing the DSA, focusing specifically on obstacles that could hinder the text's effective application, potential difficulties arising from provisions related to managing systemic risks, and the complex adaptation of the DSA to emerging technologies. Ultimately, while the DSA is undoubtedly an innovative, necessary, and commendable initiative, its ability to address the most pressing issues of the contemporary internet will only become clear upon its practical implementation.
Keywords: platform regulation, European Unions, E-Commerce Directive, content moderation, social media
JEL Classification: K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation