On 10th of November 2022 the bill suggesting amendments in the Electronic Commerce Act has been brought to the parliament. A new frame for e-commerce was established with the adoption of the Digital Services Act from the European Parliament and Council.
Social networks have significant influence on public opinion, as this is subject to organized abuse by so-called “trolls” especially in the election campaign period. The bill stipulates that during the election campaign, social networks, which are very large online platform that use algorithms to recommend content, must implement a series of technical controls to limit the fake profiles. According to the newly created Article 17a, these measures will include:
- identifying the relationship between users’ Internet addresses and the outgoing Internet addresses of traffic anonymization services;
- identifying whether a used photo belongs to another platform user or is part of a stock photo package;
- identifying connecting with an extremely large number of other users in a short time after initial registration;
- identify creating or joining large numbers of user groups in a short time;
- identifying matches in a personal data entered at different locations within the online platform;
- identifying the use of automatic tools for content publishing;
- identifying the use of visually similar letters to those in the chosen writing system for other writing systems in the input data and content;
- identifying groups of large number of users who report content on the platform in a coordinated way.
There will be also an obligation to provide information on all subcontractors of social network moderation activities.
The structural changes that will occur with the adoption of the bill will be minimal. New collegial body will be established in accordance with the requirements of the Regulation (EU) 2022/2065 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 October 2022 on a Single Market For Digital Services and amending Directive 2000/31/EC (Digital services act), which will rely on the administrations of its members. For the larger online platforms, the administrative burden will increase by introducing specific obligations in relation to the electoral process.
The affected groups are:
- users of the largest online platforms;
- the largest online platforms;
- public authorities with competence in information technology and consumer protection.
According to the authors, there are two main expected benefits. The first is the protection of freedom of speech through the mechanism of out of court settlements and by increasing the transparency of moderation. The second stated benefit is protection from the systemic risks arising from disinformation campaigns based on “trolls” (fake accounts).
The Bill is set to take place on 1st of January 2024 except for some paragraphs which will take place 6 months after its promulgation.