E.U. Lawmakers Propose New Rules to Control Online Content

The lead committee in the European Parliament writing new rules passed measures Monday that could set major restrictions on the way giant technology companies handle content.

The rules, according to a person familiar and copies of the votes that were viewed by Bloomberg, would curtail targeting ads to minors and completely ban so-called “dark patterns,” where platforms push people to consent to being tracked online. Another controversial amendment passed that would require anyone who uploads content on porn sites to register.

E.U. Lawmakers Propose New Rules to Control Online Content

The proposals would add restrictions to the Digital Services Act, a measure advanced by the European Commission last year to regulate online content by requiring illegal posts to be taken down and make information about algorithms available to researchers.

The rules could go into effect as early as 2023, but face difficult negotiations in the start of next year with EU countries and the commission that could cause delays.

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told the European Parliament in November that the Digital Services Act has the potential to become the “global gold standard” to hold giant internet companies accountable.

Monday’s proposal still needs to get sign-off from the full European Parliament in January, when it will likely face a push for a complete ban on targeted advertising. Then lawmakers will need to negotiate with the European Commission and EU countries, both of which proposed less stringent rules.

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