The popular messenger Telegram will soon face new European content regulations. The company must appoint a legal representative in the European Union (EU) by February 17, 2024. This requirement arises from the Digital Services Act (DSA), which came into force in August and is aimed at combating extremist content and violent propaganda on social networks.
The European Commission has expanded its powers in matters of supervision and interaction with digital platforms. Telegram is now one of the platforms that must strictly monitor the content posted by its users. The European Commission requires the company to appoint a legal representative in the EU by February 17, 2024, as provided for in the DSA. This was stated by the representative of the European Commission, Johannes Barke, at a briefing in Brussels.
This law requires social networks to take full responsibility for user content, including removing illegal information such as extremist content or violent propaganda. Failure to comply with DSA requirements can have serious financial consequences for companies: fines can amount to up to 6% of a company’s total global annual turnover and, in extreme cases, the platform can be blocked in EU countries.
Particular attention is paid to automatically removing content found to be unreliable by independent fact-checkers. The European Commission requires that information flagged as false be automatically deleted at an algorithmic level.
It is important to note that it is not only Telegram that is facing such pressure. The European Commission has already sent the first letters of complaint to meta-companies✴X (formerly Twitter) and TikTok in connection with the spread of illegal content about the conflict in Israel, said Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.
The appointment of an EU representative is not only a formal requirement, but also a sign that European regulation of online content is becoming increasingly strict. The DSA has raised the bar on social media requirements by increasing accountability for the content shared. How Telegram and other platforms can adapt to new European standards without losing user trust remains an open question.