Navigating the Digital Services Act: exploring key elements and scenarios

Oct. 16, 2023
Internet health


The European Union’s regulation of online platforms – the Digital Services Act (DSA) – requires large online platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, X, and TikTok, to assess and mitigate the systemic risks stemming from their services. Risk assessments, if conducted in a meaningful way, can be a very promising mechanism for preventing adverse human rights impacts of online platforms, such as their impact on freedom of expression or the right to privacy and non-discrimination. This potential is lost when risk assessments become a mere box-ticking exercise, rather than a genuine reflection on the platforms’ impacts.

To discuss what a meaningful risk assessment means in practice and how to implement the DSA on the national level in the Netherlands, Mozilla and the ECNL organized a workshop during MozFest House Amsterdam in June 2023. Recognizing that successful implementation of risk assessments requires an inclusive, multi-stakeholder effort, we brought together a diverse group of participants, including digital rights groups, legal experts, academics and researchers, technical experts, companies, and the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (appointed as an agency tasked with enforcement of the DSA in the Netherlands).

For the purpose of the workshop, we developed a scenario involving an imaginary platform,, which is in the process of conducting its first risk assessment. Based on this imaginary case study, we asked specific questions about how different actors – the company, civil society, and regulators – can collaborate most effectively to best identify and mitigate human rights impacts.

This deck is the presentation from the workshop, including the outline of key elements of the DSA and the scenario, encouraging you to reflect on this yourself or use it in your work.

Project leads


The European Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ECNL)