As the enactment of the DSA is coming closer, anticipations around the new rules for curbing Big Tech power are mounting. A revision of the eCommerce Directive has been long due, but its modernization will indeed bring significant and necessary changes to make the online space a safer one, establishing procedural guarantees that protect fundamental rights and democracy online. However, it cannot be forgotten that the proposal relies on the harmonization of the internal market as a legal basis, and that this means that the rules will have an intense market regulation flavor. This policy choice will impact freedom of expression, as the new rules promote a sort of “standardization” of content moderation procedures. For example, compliance with regulatory obligations can be ensured by adopting recognized European and international standards. While, in principle, establishing similar guarantees for all platforms is needed, a corseted one-size-fits-all approach to content moderation could run the risk of compromising constitutional pluralism and to result in preventive cancelations across platforms. To avoid this, attention should be paid to discussions within standard-setting organizations following DSA’s adoption. Critical political decisions should not get lost into seemingly technical discussions.
By Marta Cantero Gamito
Can (and should) moderation be standardized? Standardization can be defined as the development of consensus-based, often...