The EU’s latest regulation of social media platforms – the recently enacted Digital Services Act – will create tensions and conflicts with the US speech regime applicable to social media platforms. The DSA, like the precursor regulations of social media platforms by the EU, will further instantiate the Brussels Effect, whereby EU regulators wield powerful influence on how social media platforms moderate content on the global scale. This is because the DSA’s regulatory regime (with its huge penalties for noncompliance) will incentivize the platforms to skew their global content moderation policies toward the EU’s instead of the United States’s balance of speech harms versus benefits. The Act’s incentives for platforms to moderate harmful content, if implemented globally as is likely, will also create tensions with recently enacted US state laws like those adopted in Texas and Florida (and those proposed at the federal level), which prohibit platforms from moderating content in a viewpoint-discriminatory manner.
GW Paper Series
Nunziato, Dawn C., "The Digital Services Act and the Brussels Effect on Platform Content Moderation" (2023). GW Law Faculty Publications & Other Works. 1674.