Our October 2020 focus on regulating digital services, Facebook, Twitter, Tik-Tok?

Hi, I’m Ebun. one-time dream doctor, graduate economist, and now branding maven. I spend my time now mostly being your humble editor, in-fact I’m probably somewhere being humble..

Hey there, it’s Ebun

Now that the world has mostly settled into accepting more widely digital services offerings as an alternative for major society functions; work, school, finances, socializing and so much more.

It is inevitable now that there is more push for society and government to establish the right frameworks for market competition and yes, regulation too for these digital services. Much of the discussions around this have already been ongoing for nearly two years with the European Commission set to amend its’ e-Commerce Directives issued nearly two decades ago.

And although over the course of events like the global health crisis this year, digital service platforms like Facebook have themselves come together to self-regulate enforcing some of the limits and responsibilities currently being discussed for legislature.

The EU Digital Services Act

Exactly who is in this market and who needs regulating? Well,we can all largely agree that Tik Tok has been sweeping throughout the media landscape this year, with its’ Tik Tok for business arm stating some 17 million UK consumers spend 66 minutes a day on the app, and the average user opening TikTok 13 times every 24 hours.

It is not just Tik Tok, affording these highly priced consumer platforms, it is also the traditional digital services from Google and Facebook et al. Whose offerings of mixed products and services offer such a wide scope of information and/or content that has proven complex to begin to distinguish owner from consumer and therefore the lines of responsibility.

Who are the regulators? The all-encompassing nature of these Acts aim to take all this and more into its’ scope. With separate committees taking on swathes of areas that the Acts will cover, for example the Internal Market and Consumer Protection committee bears responsibility for proposals to iron out the confusing structures of digital businesses,

Many of whom are being scoped to properly identify in a paradox of their being often service providers for consumers but also themselves;” when they are vertically integrated, to separate clearly their roles as organizers of the marketplace and as a competitor on these marketplaces,” the tender document read.” (Reuters).

The details being worked out will be on issues like accuracy, and reliability of information especially for advertisements here, and in general, for posts which are inflammatory or illegal in the content that is shared, who protects that end user? And who as a digital business owner is responsible?

With Voting still expected to conclude shortly in the EUs October II plenary session this year, our favorite technology brands might be confronted with new rules to the chagrin and as of recently some reporting of a reactionary move to then change their services and structures to accommodate this by separating some of their business functions and safeguarding them from rivals.

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Look out for next week’s topic.

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