Pros & Cons of regulating the digital space
The enactment of the EU Digital Services Act has ignited debate around regulating the digital space to encounter potential risks, such as exchanging illegal goods, services and content online. The European Union has envisaged that a modern legal framework is required to ensure the safety of users online, the protection of fundamental rights and the maintenance of a fair and open online platform environment.
Several Governments have come up with legislation to have some control over the digital space. According to the World Economic Forum, the regulators and the public had previously given digital platforms free rein. However, the trend has considerably changed recently, with these digital platforms wielding enormous powers. There have been demands for regulating the content and services provided by these digital platforms.
Why should digital platforms be regulated?
Some believe that social media giants are not doing enough to curb hate speech, cyberbullying and similar misconduct online considered to be threats to individuals’ human rights; hence regulations are needed as more people communicate, shop or access information online in order to ensure the protection of end users.
Maintaining the status quo?
On the other hand, proponents of the status quo argue that digital platforms should not be regulated, arguing that imposing massive government oversight will do more harm than good. They maintain that attempts to restrict fake news and hate speech will end up undermining the free exchange of ideas central to a free and democratic society.
It’s worth noting that drafting digital legislation requires clarity about the aims and parameters to ensure that it does not infringe on human rights and freedom of speech. In addition, the legislation may vary depending on the needs and priorities of each country.
Rather than suspending or closing the digital space, it is prudent to put in place a legislative structure to allow digital platforms to operate in such a way that the rights of the consumers are properly and adequately protected.