EU Users To Have More Power Over Facebook, Instagram Content

Facebook and Instagram users in Europe will have more control over how they view information, according to Meta, as the networks prepare to satisfy upcoming harsher European Union standards.

A historic EU rule would require digital behemoths to more aggressively control online content in order to protect consumers, particularly against hate speech and disinformation.

The web’s 19 biggest businesses, including Facebook parent Meta, Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, TikTok, and Twitter, now rebranded as X, must adhere with the new rules starting next week or face stiff penalties.

All eyes will be on billionaire Elon Musk, who has changed several regulations about language permitted on X since gaining ownership — even if it is judged offensive or conveys hatred and misinformation — in direct contravention to the EU’s new laws.

One of the improvements outlined by Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, is that European Facebook and Instagram users would be able to access diverse sorts of content without being profiled, as required by the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA).

“We’re now giving our European community the option to view and discover content on Reels, Stories, Search and other parts of Facebook and Instagram that is not ranked by Meta using these systems,” Clegg said in a blog post.

“For example, on Facebook and Instagram, users will have the option to view Stories and Reels only from people they follow, ranked in chronological order, newest to oldest.”

Meta has previously offered Facebook and Instagram users more choice over how content appears in their main feeds, but the latest change goes far further.

TikTok announced a similar update earlier this month, allowing European users to disable the addicting feature that displays content according on their preferences.

Another step to verify compliance, according to Clegg, is to establish a library to “display and archive” all advertisements targeting people in the European Union.

Other modifications include greater information about how Meta’s artificial intelligence technologies rank material on Facebook and Instagram.

Clegg said more than 1,000 people were working on DSA implementation at Meta.

Dutch travel site Booking.com, also part of the list of 19 “very large” platforms, announced a similar “ad repository” that will hold information about adverts that have been shown on its website.

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