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From next week Pornhub will have to comply with EU rules on digital services

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From next week Pornhub will have to comply with EU rules on digital services

Starting next week, adult entertainment platforms Pornhub, Stripchat and Xvideos will have to comply with stricter obligations under the Digital Services Act (DSA). They include submitting risk assessment reports to the Commission, taking mitigation measures to address systemic risks related to the provision of their services, complying with additional transparency obligations, including relating to advertising, and providing access to data for researchers. The community executive announced this in a note.

What the rules provide. What is the risk of those who do not adapt?

The new rules require companies to manage more stringent risks, especially regarding violence, discrimination of all kinds and violation of rights. They will also have to undergo external and independent reviews and share data with authorities and researchers. In April the EU had identified five subsidiaries of Alphabet, two units of Meta Platforms, two companies of Microsoft, X and Alibaba among the 19 companies subject to the rules.

Today the range of action of the DSA extends to sites that publish pornographic material. Designated companies will have to do more to tackle misinformation, offer greater protection and choice to users and ensure greater protection for minors. If they don’t do so, they face fines equal to 6% of their global turnover.

The concept of systemic risk: how it impacts Pornhub

In more detail, the DSA moves around the key concept of “systemic risk”. Every year the platforms subject to the rules must draw up a report to send to Brussels. The pages must analyze all possible threats to the fundamental rights of EU citizens, to their freedom of expression, to the quality of public debate and to the protection of minors and minorities.

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Not only. Companies must say what they have actually done to solve the problems encountered. Then Brussels will verify the reports with external experts and university researchers. An enormous job, both for the European legislator and for companies. “It is not censorship and there will be no Ministry of Truth,” Breton said, referring above all to social networking platforms. Among the obligations envisaged there is also that of not using personal information such as religion, state of health and sexual orientation of citizens to target advertisements. Furthermore, no data from minors. And for all of them there will be an obligation to monitor and track those who invest in advertising.

The DSA obligations apply to designated very large online platforms (with more than 45 million users in the EU) starting four months after the legal notification of their designation. For the three platforms in question, these additional provisions will go into effect on April 21st for Pornhub and Stripchat, and on April 23rd for XVideos. The DSA, it should be remembered, attributes to the designated platforms the responsibility of guaranteeing safer and more transparent online spaces.

They must identify and effectively address systemic risks, particularly when it comes to mitigating risks to child welfare, amplification of illegal content, recommendation systems, etc. The Commission is closely monitoring these platforms’ compliance with DSA obligations, in particular as regards measures to protect minors from harmful content and tackle the spread of illegal content.

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