EU cracks down on “potentially harmful” online platforms

The EU is stepping up its ongoing efforts to protect children from potentially harmful “online porn sites.”

It is asking online platforms to spell out what measures they are taking about the dissemination of “illegal and harmful” content.

The sites have until early next month to respond. Failure to do so could render them liable to hefty fines.

This comes after the EU Commission said it had sent Pornhub, Stripchat and XVideos requests for information under the Digital Services Act.

The Commission is asking the companies to provide “more detailed” information on the measures they have taken to “diligently assess and mitigate risks related to the protection of minors online.”

They are also asked what they do to prevent the “amplification of illegal content and gender-based violence.”

The Commission is also requiring details on “age assurance mechanisms” adopted by “these pornographic platforms” and wants “detailed information” on the internal organisation of the companies to ensure compliance with the DSA.

The DSA requires designated very large online platforms to equip themselves with “independent and well-resourced internal teams with sufficient authority and resources.”

Under the DSA, compliance officers must ensure that all systemic risks outlined in the regulation are identified and properly reported on.

A Commission spokesman said, “Pornhub, Stripchat and Xvideos must provide the requested information by 4 July 2024.”

The Commission can impose fines for incorrect, incomplete, or misleading information in response to a request for information.

Failure to reply by the deadline could lead to the imposition of penalties.

The spokesman added, “Following their designation as Very Large Online Platforms, Pornhub, Stripchat and Xvideos are required to comply with the full set of provisions introduced by the DSA.”

This, he said, includes “the assessment and mitigation of risks related to the dissemination of illegal and harmful content and on the protection of minors.”

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