Hello Legotkm,

My name's Phil - French-speakers on this list might know me as the panelist who spoke at length about the DSA at the WikiConvention Francophone 2022 in November.  I also spoke about it (in English this time!) at the Big Fat Brussels Meetup a few weeks later; and I more recently briefed Wikimedia Deutschland's policy person, so she could relay that to WMDE folks.  I'm one of a few people here that are working on some DSA workstreams. There are various bits and bobs up on Meta, too, from various sources.  We'll also get a Diff post up, soon.

Thanks in part to the efforts of WMF's Global Advocacy team and the FKAGEU/Wikimedia Europe folks, back when this law was just a draft, I think the DSA thankfully preserves, at its heart, the notice-and-takedown ("mere host safe harbour") intermediary liability model that we see as really important for community-driven projects on the Web. 

The DSA came into force last year, and we're in its implementation phase at the moment.  Wikipedia's "VLOP" designation (which was based on these estimates, published in February) had been expected.  So although it has the effect of bringing forward the application date (i.e. shortening how long we're given to prepare) - it's nonetheless something we've been cracking on with in the background.  That includes, as you noted, a few Terms of Use changes (though there are DSA-unrelated TOU changes too). 

So - certainly plenty to keep us busy; but from our perspective, if we can handle the bureaucracy of compliance without impacting the community, great!

A few things should visibly get better - including more data in future Transparency Reports; possibly a few procedural tweaks to how we handle Office Actions; and (not that this will change much) reasonable openness to researchers.  To be honest, we're not too bad at that stuff already, and we're really excited to see the other platforms following suit.

VLOP status brings mandatory "systemic risk and mitigation" (SRAM) obligations, for Wikipedia specifically (the other Wikimedia projects are not VLOPs).  So there will need to be an annual, honest look at whether Wikipedia is contributing to any systemic risks in the EU - say, for instance, electoral disinformation - and whether our Movement is adequately doing its part in mitigating those.  For now, we're hoping to heavily base that assessment on the existing Human Rights Impact Assessment work, regular human rights due diligence (HRDD, e.g. for specific features or policy changes), and the upcoming Childrens' Rights Impact Assessment.  As you can imagine, that's because we have neither the inclination nor the resources to reinvent the wheel if we don't have to, just to meet one specific region's laws. 

So far as the regulators' expectations go, the need for us (the Movement as a whole, and WMF specifically) to make any further changes (i.e. to introduce/refine some "mitigations" for systemic risks), will depend on how well the regulator sees us as addressing those risks. So as with all things Wikimedia, community initiative and empowerment remains absolutely critical to meeting the challenge ahead!

Plus, of course - the general caveat: it's a new law; it's pretty fuzzy and/or demanding in some areas; and it applies across a very large and diverse region of the world, full of people that will all, doubtless, want / expect different things.  So we should also in a limited sense "expect the unexpected".  Though we certainly intend to be smart and robust about all this.

Zooming out (and getting really tangential to your questions), it's worth noting that the EU DSA is part of a new wave of laws rolling out across the world, seeking to make platforms more accountable. 

Wikipedia, for example, was mentioned a number of times by UK legislators on Tuesday, during debates around the UK Online Safety Bill.  The Foundation and local community members & affiliates are working intensively to ensure the best possible outcomes for our movement in these debates (e.g. Jimmy Wales and I held meetings at the House of Lords on Monday; but that UK engagement a much wider team effort, including Wikimedia UK's wonderful CEO Lucy Crompton-Reid, our own Rebecca McKinnon, and too many other stars to list out here - they deserve plenty of wikilove/barnstars, though).  As you can appreciate, that's a huge amount of work, and you never get every win you're hoping for.  But our hope is that in doing this advocacy work, we're not just helping make these incoming laws better tailored to our own Movement's model, but also preserving a good environment for online communities and A2K more generally.


On Wed, 26 Apr 2023 at 19:51, Kunal Mehta <legoktm@debian.org> wrote:
Hi all,

On Mastodon we've started to get questions[1][2] about how the Digital
Services Act will affect Wikipedia and what our position on it is. After
some searching I found:

* A Medium post by the WMF from Dec. 2021[3] (but not posted on a
Wikimedia-controlled site?)
* The "EU Policy Monitoring Report - February 2023" on this list[4]
* The proposed TOU changes related to DSA[5]

Is there anything more recent than that I missed that we can point
people to?

Is it correct and fair to say that we don't expect DSA to result in
major changes to Wikipedia's operation? (Or will it?)

[2] Replies to https://mastodon.social/@dangillmor/110263646051276933

-- Kunal / Legoktm
Publicpolicy mailing list -- publicpolicy@lists.wikimedia.org
To unsubscribe send an email to publicpolicy-leave@lists.wikimedia.org