Providers of online platforms shall take the necessary technical and organisational measures to ensure that notices submitted by trusted flaggers, acting within their designated area of expertise, through the mechanisms referred to, are given priority and are processed and decided upon without undue delay.
The status of ‘trusted flagger’ under this Regulation shall be awarded, upon application by any entity, by the Digital Services Coordinator of the Member State in which the applicant is established, to an applicant that has demonstrated that it meets all of the following conditions:
- it has particular expertise and competence for the purposes of detecting, identifying and notifying illegal content;
- it is independent from any provider of online platforms;
- it carries out its activities for the purposes of submitting notices diligently, accurately and objectively.
Trusted flaggers shall publish, at least once a year easily comprehensible and detailed reports on notices submitted in accordance with Article 16 during the relevant period. The report shall list at least the number of notices categorised by:
- the identity of the provider of hosting services,
- the type of allegedly illegal content notified,
- the action taken by the provider.
Those reports shall include an explanation of the procedures in place to ensure that the trusted flagger retains its independence. Trusted flaggers shall send those reports to the awarding Digital Services Coordinator, and shall make them publicly available. The information in those reports shall not contain personal data.
Digital Services Coordinators shall communicate to the Commission and the Board the names, addresses and email addresses of the entities to which they have awarded the status of the trusted flagger in accordance with paragraph 2 or whose trusted flagger status they have suspended or revoked.
The Commission shall publish the information referred to in paragraph 4 in a publicly available database, in an easily accessible and machine-readable format, and shall keep the database up to date.
Where a provider of online platforms has information indicating that a trusted flagger has submitted a significant number of insufficiently precise, inaccurate or inadequately substantiated notices through the mechanisms referred to in , including information gathered in connection to the processing of complaints through the internal complaint-handling systems referred to, it shall communicate that information to the Digital Services Coordinator that awarded the status of trusted flagger to the entity concerned, providing the necessary explanations and supporting documents. Upon receiving the information from the provider of online platforms, and if the Digital Services Coordinator considers that there are legitimate reasons to open an investigation, the status of trusted flagger shall be suspended during the period of the investigation. That investigation shall be carried out without undue delay.
The Digital Services Coordinator that awarded the status of trusted flagger to an entity shall revoke that status if it determines, following an investigation either on its own initiative or on the basis information received from third parties, including the information provided by a provider of online platforms , that the entity no longer meets the conditions set out. Before revoking that status, the Digital Services Coordinator shall afford the entity an opportunity to react to the findings of its investigation and its intention to revoke the entity’s status as trusted flagger.
The Commission, after consulting the Board, shall, where necessary, issue guidelines to assist providers of online platforms and Digital Services Coordinators in the application of the above
Measures and protection against misuse
Providers of online platforms shall suspend, for a reasonable period of time and after having issued a prior warning, the provision of their services to recipients of the service that frequently provide manifestly illegal content.
Providers of online platforms shall suspend, for a reasonable period of time and after having issued a prior warning, the processing of notices and complaints submitted through the notice and action mechanisms and internal complaints-handling systems referred to in Articles 16 and 20, respectively, by individuals or entities or by complainants that frequently submit notices or complaints that are manifestly unfounded.
When deciding on suspension, providers of online platforms shall assess, on a case-by-case basis and in a timely, diligent and objective manner, whether the recipient of the service, the individual, the entity or the complainant engages in the misuse referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, taking into account all relevant facts and circumstances apparent from the information available to the provider of online platforms. Those circumstances shall include at least the following:
- the absolute numbers of items of manifestly illegal content or manifestly unfounded notices or complaints, submitted within a given time frame;
- the relative proportion thereof in relation to the total number of items of information provided or notices submitted within a given time frame;
- the gravity of the misuses, including the nature of illegal content, and of its consequences;
- where it is possible to identify it, the intention of the recipient of the service, the individual, the entity or the complainant.
Providers of online platforms shall set out, in a clear and detailed manner, in their terms and conditions their policy in respect of the misuse referred to, and shall give examples of the facts and circumstances that they take into account when assessing whether certain behaviour constitutes misuse and the duration of the suspension.
Transparency reporting obligations for providers of online platforms
In addition to the information referred to in Article 15, providers of online platforms shall include in the reports referred to in that Article information on the following:
the number of disputes submitted to the out-of-court dispute settlement bodies referred to in Article 21, the outcomes of the dispute settlement, and the median time needed for completing the dispute settlement procedures, as well as the share of disputes where the provider of the online platform implemented the decisions of the body;
the number of suspensions imposed pursuant to Article 23, distinguishing between suspensions enacted for the provision of manifestly illegal content, the submission of manifestly unfounded notices and the submission of manifestly unfounded complaints.
By 17 February 2023 and at least once every six months thereafter, providers shall publish for each online platform or online search engine, in a publicly available section of their online interface, information on the average monthly active recipients of the service in the Union, calculated as an average over the period of the past six months and in accordance with the methodology laid down in the delegated acts , where those delegated acts have been adopted.
Providers of online platforms or of online search engines shall communicate to the Digital Services Coordinator of establishment and the Commission, upon their request and without undue delay, the information referred to in paragraph 2, updated to the moment of such request. That Digital Services Coordinator or the Commission may require the provider of the online platform or of the online search engine to provide additional information as regards the calculation referred to in that paragraph, including explanations and substantiation in respect of the data used. That information shall not include personal data.
When the Digital Services Coordinator of establishment has reasons to consider, based the information received pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article, that a provider of online platforms or of online search engines meets the threshold of average monthly active recipients of the service in the Union laid down, , it shall inform the Commission thereof.
Providers of online platforms shall, without undue delay, submit to the Commission the decisions and the statements of reasons referred to in Article 17(1) for the inclusion in a publicly accessible machine-readable database managed by the Commission. Providers of online platforms shall ensure that the information submitted does not contain personal data.
The Commission may adopt implementing acts to lay down templates concerning the form, content and other details of reports pursuant to paragraph 1 of this Article. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 88.
Online interface design and organisation
Providers of online platforms shall not design, organise or operate their online interfaces in a way that deceives or manipulates the recipients of their service or in a way that otherwise materially distorts or impairs the ability of the recipients of their service to make free and informed decisions.
The prohibition in paragraph 1 shall not apply to practices covered by Directive 2005/29/EC or Regulation (EU) 2016/679. The Commission may issue guidelines on how paragraph 1 applies to specific practices, notably:
- giving more prominence to certain choices when asking the recipient of the service for a decision;
- repeatedly requesting that the recipient of the service make a choice where that choice has already been made, especially by presenting pop-ups that interfere with the user experience;
- making the procedure for terminating a service more difficult than subscribing to it.
Advertising on online platforms
Providers of online platforms that present advertisements on their online interfaces shall ensure that, for each specific advertisement presented to each individual recipient, the recipients of the service are able to identify, in a clear, concise and unambiguous manner and in real time, the following:
- that the information is an advertisement, including through prominent markings, which might follow standards pursuant to Article 44;
- the natural or legal person on whose behalf the advertisement is presented;
- the natural or legal person who paid for the advertisement if that person is different from the natural or legal person referred to in point (b);
- meaningful information directly and easily accessible from the advertisement about the main parameters used to determine the recipient to whom the advertisement is presented and, where applicable, about how to change those parameters.
Providers of online platforms shall provide recipients of the service with a functionality to declare whether the content they provide is or contains commercial communications.
When the recipient of the service submits a declaration pursuant to this paragraph, the provider of online platforms shall ensure that other recipients of the service can identify in a clear and unambiguous manner and in real time, including through prominent markings, which might follow standards pursuant to Article 44, that the content provided by the recipient of the service is or contains commercial communications, as described in that declaration.
Providers of online platforms shall not present advertisements to recipients of the service based on profiling as defined in Article 4, GDPR or using using special categories of personal data referred to in Article 9(1) GDPR
Recommender system transparency
Providers of online platforms that use recommender systems shall set out in their terms and conditions, in plain and intelligible language, the main parameters used in their recommender systems, as well as any options for the recipients of the service to modify or influence those main parameters.
The main parameters referred to in paragraph 1 shall explain why certain information is suggested to the recipient of the service. They shall include, at least:
- the criteria which are most significant in determining the information suggested to the recipient of the service;
- the reasons for the relative importance of those parameters
Where several options are available p for recommender systems that determine the relative order of information presented to recipients of the service, providers of online platforms shall also make available a functionality that allows the recipient of the service to select and to modify at any time their preferred option. That functionality shall be directly and easily accessible from the specific section of the online platform’s online interface where the information is being prioritised.
Online protection of minors
Providers of online platforms accessible to minors shall put in place appropriate and proportionate measures to ensure a high level of privacy, safety, and security of minors, on their service.
Providers of online platform shall not present advertisements on their interface based on profiling as defined in Article 4, point (4), of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 using personal data of the recipient of the service when they are aware with reasonable certainty that the recipient of the service is a minor.
Compliance with the obligations set out in this Article shall not oblige providers of online platforms to process additional personal data in order to assess whether the recipient of the service is a minor.
The Commission, after consulting the Board, may issue guidelines to assist providers of online platforms in the application of paragraph 1.