DSA: Launch of the European Commission's Transparency Database of content moderation decisions

IRIS 2023-9:1/7

Eric Munch

European Audiovisual Observatory

Under Article 17 of the Digital Services Act (DSA), providers of hosting services are required to provide users with statements of reasons whenever they remove or restrict access to certain content. Those statements of reasons, containing clear and specific information, are collected in the European Commission’s Transparency Database, the creation of which is foreseen by Article 24(5) of the DSA. This makes the Transparency Database the first regulatory repository of publicly accessible content moderation decisions taken by providers of online platforms active in the EU, allowing users to act in a more informed manner on the spread of illegal and harmful content online.

Between 20 June and 18 July 2023, various stakeholders, including online platforms, civil society organisations and researchers, were invited to participate in a public consultation regarding the transparency database, its implementation, level of granularity, and means of access and of submitting statements.

At this stage, only Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) must submit data to the database, as per their compliance with the DSA. They will be joined by all other providers of online platforms – with the exception of micro and small enterprises – starting 17 February 2024.

Users of the Transparency Database can view summary statistics (in beta version at the time of writing), search for specific statements of reasons and download data. The addition of new features such as new analytics and visualisation features are planned to be implemented in the coming months.


This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.