EU puts more DSA pressure on Amazon and X

5 Jul 2024

Image: © Mike Mareen/

The EU wants to know more about how Amazon’s algorithms work and is reportedly planning to issue a formal warning to X for failing to tackle dangerous online content.

The EU has been taking a stronger stance against how Big Tech manages online content and has issued a new probe against Amazon.

The European Commission has asked Amazon to show how it is complying with the Digital Services Act (DSA), the EU’s new online regulation that includes strict rules on content moderation, advertising transparency and greater choice for users to control what they see.

The Commission has asked Amazon to share data regarding the transparency of its recommender systems and their parameters. These are algorithms that suggest content to users based on data it has gathered about those particular users.

The European Commission wants to know more about the input factors, features, signals, information and metadata that are applied for Amazon’s recommender systems. The Commission also wants data related to how users can opt out of being profiled for these systems.

The tech giant has until 26 July to respond to this request for information and could face a formal investigation depending on the results.

Amazon is one of various companies that have been listed as Very Large Online Platforms by the EU, which means these companies are subject to the “most stringent rules” of the DSA. The EU has been ramping up pressure on these companies – it recently sent similar requests for information to Temu and Shien.

DSA danger for X

Another Big Tech company facing pressure from the DSA is X, the social media platform owned by Elon Musk. The platform is set to face a formal DSA warning for failing to tackle dangerous content online, according to a sources speaking with Bloomberg.

Since Musk took over the platform, X has faced criticism for reducing its content moderation teams and failing to tackle dangerous content on the site, from AI-generated images of terrorist attacks to misinformation on conflicts.

As a result, the European Commission opened formal proceedings against X last December to assess whether the platform has violated the terms of the DSA. It also sent a request for information in May asking for specific details about the platform, such as how it assesses risks regarding generative AI tools.

A DSA transparency report released earlier this year revealed that X had curtailed its team of content moderators by almost 20pc since a preceding report in October 2023.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic