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Tech Oversight Project Applauds European Commission Enforcement Action Against Facebook and Instagram

Apr 30, 2024

First enforcement action under EU’s Digital Services Act centers on deceptive ads, failing moderation practices, ineffective reporting tools, and lack of third-party transparency tools

Underscores the need for Congress to pass legislation curbing online scams and digital threats to elections

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, The Tech Oversight Project applauded the European Commission for opening formal proceedings against Meta platforms Facebook and Instagram under the Digital Services Act (DSA) – the biggest enforcement action yet under the new law. The European Commission’s investigation is focused on Meta’s failure to pull down deceptive ads, effectively moderate content, build in workable reporting tools, and allow for third-party transparency. Learn more here.

The enforcement action comes on the heels of news that the company is preparing to fire a large number of employees on the Meta Oversight Board. In recent months, Mark Zuckerberg and senior leaders have decided to sunset other transparency bodies like CrowdTangle, fire large numbers of its trust and safety team, and muzzle academic research critical of the company.

“With an election in the coming months and the threat of foreign interference looming large, one governing body is standing up to meet the moment, and it’s not the United States Congress. We need to end the era of talking about enforcement and actually pass legislation that allows us to make enforcement a reality,” said Sacha Haworth, Executive Director of the Tech Oversight Project. “Mark Zuckerberg and Meta leadership have made a mockery of Congress and its oversight authority by walking back from its election integrity promises, eliminating transparency, and firing its trust and safety team. That’s why Congress needs to pass measures that hold powerful social media platforms’ feet to the fire and ensure that they fully protect our elections from digital threats and foreign interference from China, Iran, or Russia.”

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