How New European Laws May Shape the Future of Social Media

It took four years for the United Kingdom’s Online Safety Bill to finally find its way to passage by Parliament this month. The highly anticipated new law will force social media platforms to be more proactive about removing or restricting illegal, harmful, or age-inappropriate content in an effort to make the platforms safer for users—and children in particular. But Big Tech is fighting back.

Social media companies claim the new regulations may have unintended consequences. Meta, for example, says it may be forced to break end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp because of the new law. These kinds of conflicts are becoming increasingly common as governments try to find ways to regulate social media. Not only will these new laws impact tech platforms, they will affect the way companies and agencies use them to reach audiences and customers.

Here are some other impacts of new tech regulations:

  • Apple finally introduced USB-C charging ports to its new iPhone 15 to comply with EU standardization regulations.
  • TikTok introduced a way to switch off personalization in the app in order to comply with the EU Digital Services Act, which aims to protect user privacy.
  • The EU’s new Digital Markets Act sets new rules for Big Tech, giving companies like Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft six months to comply with a wide range regulations intended to curb the power of what EU regulators deemed platform “gatekeepers.”
  • Norway fined Meta $98,500 a day for a user data breach that began August 14.