The DSA: launch of a transparency database

Article European Law | 04/10/23 | 1 min. |

Under Article 24(5) of the Digital Services Act (DSA), providers of online platforms must submit to the Commission “without undue delay [...] the decisions and statements of reasons referred to in Article 17(1) for the in a publicly accessible machine-readable database managed by the Commission”.

Statements of reasons” are understood in this provision as clear and precise information that online platforms must provide to users if they remove or restrict access to certain parts of their content. Under the DSA, the statements of reasons must be compiled in a database whose launch was announced by the European Commission in a communication dated 26 September 2023.

For the time being, only the very large online platforms and search engines, to which the DSA has been applicable since 25 August 2023, are bound by this obligation. All other online platform providers (with the exception of micro and small businesses) will be affected from 17 February 2024.

The compilation of content moderation decisions by online platform providers is an unprecedented first. It will provide highly granular information that will be accessible to the general public. In the Commission's strategy, this increase in transparency places the players concerned, and particularly those with systemic implications, under the combined gaze, not only of the regulators, but also of public opinion, researchers, NGOs, and all stakeholders, with the idea that this will contribute to greater responsibility on the part of platforms and search engines.

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