Draft report on the proposed European Media Freedom Act published

Draft report for the European Media Freedom Act introduces significant changes in content moderation and serves as the basis for the upcoming discussions among lawmakers.

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In her recent draft report for the proposed European Media Freedom Act, Sabine Verheyen, the EU parliamentarian serving as the rapporteur in the culture and education parliamentary committee (CULT), introduces important changes in content moderation, governance, market concentration and media outlets from outside Europe.

The European Media Freedom Act is the first-ever legislative proposal regulating the EU media sector. While aimed at ensuring media pluralism and independence, the proposal has been criticised by publishers.

The proposal has been modified to include the limitation of content or services and not just suspensions. Platforms would be required to notify media providers 48 hours before the implementation of the restriction. This also applies to situations where the platform’s algorithm reduces the visibility of the content, allowing for a lengthy objection period of two days, a considerable amount of time for online sharing on social media.

The report also calls for establishing a new regulatory body, the European Board for Media Services, to boost cooperation between national media regulators and ensure greater independence from the European Commission. The report limits market concentration to mergers that ‘significantly impact pluralism’. Such wording distinguishes among mergers that ensure the survival of smaller, less financially viable outlets.

This report will be the foundation for the upcoming discussions among lawmakers leading to the legislation’s adoption in September.