Google, Twitter, Meta face tougher EU online content rules

Google, Facebook parent Meta Platforms, and Twitter face stricter EU online content rules according to monthly user numbers they will disclose to the EU authorities

February 17, 2023 10:31 am | Updated 10:31 am IST - BRUSSELS

File photo of the EU flag

File photo of the EU flag | Photo Credit: AP

Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc., and Twitter face stricter EU online content rules according to monthly user numbers published by the companies on Thursday, which exceeded the EU threshold.

The new rules known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) labels companies with more than 45 million users as very large online platforms and subject to obligations such as risk management and external and independent auditing. They are also required to share data with authorities and researchers and adopt a code of conduct.

The European Commission had given online platforms and search engines until February 17 to publish their monthly active users. Very large online platforms have four months to comply with the rules or risk fines.

Twitter said it has 100.9 million average monthly users in the EU, based on an estimation of the last 45 days.

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Alphabet provided one set of numbers based on users' accounts and another set based on signed-out recipients, saying users can access its services whether they sign in to an account or are signed out.

It said the average monthly number of signed-in users totalled 278.6 million at Google Maps, 274.6 million at Google Play, 332 million at Google Search, 74.9 million at Shopping, and 401.7 million at YouTube.

Earlier this week, Meta Platforms said it had 255 million average monthly active users on Facebook in the EU and about 250 million average monthly active users on Instagram in the last six months of 2022.

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