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How does the digital services act affect the adult industry

The Digital Services Act (DSA) is a set of regulations enacted by the European Union to modernize digital regulation and create specific processes for online platforms. It applies to various digital intermediaries, including online marketplaces, social media platforms and app stores. The DSA imposes stricter obligations on these providers to manage risks associated with their services, protect user data and combat illegal and harmful online content. It also emphasizes transparency, fairness and user empowerment. The DSA requires providers to include certain information in their terms and conditions, such as the type of content users are prohibited from uploading and the circumstances under which content may be removed from the service. The act aims to create a safer and more transparent online environment for users, with enhanced mechanisms for reporting and removing illegal content, greater user control over the content they see and redress mechanisms for contesting platform decisions about content. The DSA also emphasizes the protection of users’ fundamental rights online, particularly focusing on the safety of children.

The DSA has specific implications for the adult industry, as it aims to regulate online platforms primarily used for user-generated pornography. The Commission proposals for the DSA did not specifically address the gendered nature of nor the extent of non-consensual pornography available online. However, amendments were agreed by the European Parliament to strengthen the DSA in relation to user-generated pornography, resulting in a new clause: Article 24b DSA. This provision introduces particular obligations on online platforms primarily used for the dissemination of non-consensual material, with the hope of reducing the prevalence of such content.

The DSA also introduces a user verification process for pornographic content creators through a double opt-in e-mail and cell phone number. This amendment aims to protect individuals from the theft and exploitation of intimate images, as well as to prevent revenge porn and other forms of image-based sexual violence. However, concerns have been raised by adult industry workers and other civil society organizations about the potential barriers and increased risks of data infringements and dependence on third parties that this verification process may create.

In summary, the DSA has significant implications for the adult industry, as it aims to regulate online platforms primarily used for user-generated pornography and introduces a user verification process for content creators. While the DSA seeks to protect users from harmful content and ensure a safer online environment, it is essential for digital service providers, including those in the adult industry, to understand and comply with the requirements of the DSA to ensure a safer and more transparent online environment for users.

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