The European Facebook Twitter YouTube accountability plan for what their users publish: million dollar fines for allowing illegal, fraudulent or hate-filled content - The impunity in the practice of companies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or eBay regarding the content that is published on their platforms has the days numbered in Europe. After years of relying on the self-regulating capacity of social media and digital platforms, Brussels has decided to take action and resort to multi-million dollar fines to avoid online impunity.
Has admitted to the press the european commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, has said that Brussels is finalising a legislation known as the Digital Services Act, which focuses on regular community-level the content that host the multinational digital, depending on The Country.
The new European Digital Services Regulation will force platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, eBay or YouTube to take responsibility for the content they host and to immediately remove those that violate European Union laws, that encourage hatred or disinformation or that promote fraudulent products as soon as the authorities request it.
Breton explained that non-EU digital platforms will have to choose from which EU country they will operate, although they will be subject to common EU legislation and surveillance throughout Europe and not only in the country in which they are based.
The European Commissioner has also stated that vertically integrated platforms, which offer their own and third-party services, will no longer be considered intermediaries, but will also be responsible for the content circulating on their pages, according to the country.
European Facebook Twitter YouTube accountability plan
In addition, Thierry Breton has advanced that this law will be approved next December 2 and will establish the creation of a community supervisory body that includes the authorities of the country in which the digital platform is installed, those of the countries that receive these services and those responsible for the European Commission.
Breton has advanced that this supervisory body may set fines as soon as "a systemic violation of European rules is detected", according to the country. However, the draft stipulates that it is the local authorities who decide the amount of sanctions, although Brussels does not rule out that this role should end up with the EC.
The commissioner has assured that in the EC they will be "extremely strict “against illegal content, noting that”never in history has a company imposed its conduct on the state but the other way around". For this reason, Breton stressed that Brussels is trying to assess the impact of large digital platforms on the economy, society, democracy and the rule of law in the EU.
European Facebook Twitter YouTube accountability plan
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The Oxford University vaccine could be ready before the end of the year and there is "a small chance" that it will start to be distributed by Christmas
The COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford could present the results of Phase 3 of clinical trials before the end of the year, Reuters reports.
This has been assured by the director of research, Andrew Pollard, who has been cautious about whether this implies that the vaccine will be ready by Christmas.
"There is a small possibility," he said.
Faced with the potential scenario of having a vaccine ready by that date, the UK National Health Service (NHS) is preparing to start distributing them.
"There are more than two hundred vaccines in development... we hope to get one or more of those available, certainly from the first part of next year," Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS England, told the BBC.
"But in anticipation of that, we are also preparing the NHS to be ready to start administering COVID vaccines before Christmas if they are available," he said.
A magazine aimed at family doctors in the United Kingdom also reported that this collective of health professionals was being prepared for the distribution of vaccines against coronavirus, according to national media.
If the most optimistic scenario is met, it would also be good news for Spain, which has 30 million doses of the vaccine reserved.
Salvador Illa, Minister of Health, said that, if there were no setbacks, the first ones would arrive in December.
However, in recent statements, the director of the oncology research and Development Area of the pharmaceutical company, Josep Baselga, noted that "by the end of the first quarter of 2021, if all goes well, vaccines will be in an advanced phase of distribution."
The truth is that vaccine manufacturers have seen how the estimated deadlines for having a vaccine ready were delayed by various unforeseen events. In the case of the candidate from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, the adverse effects observed in a patient forced to temporarily paralyze the trials.
The other project that has chances of becoming the first vaccine to obtain emergency authorization this year is that of Pfizer with the German biotech BioNTech, although they recently announced that they were not yet ready to present the decisive results.
With the possibility of home confinement on the table and the economy shaking over what this could mean for the holiday season, the idea of having a vaccine that starts to be distributed this year raises optimism.
However, experts have been warning for months that the first doses will have a very limited distribution and will probably reach the most at-risk groups first.
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