What just happened? The European Commission (EC) has named 19 of the largest online platforms and search engines that must comply with new rules designed to protect minors, address illegal content, ban certain ads, and more. Of all the named tech giants, Twitter is said to be least prepared to deal with the new rules and could risk a massive fine or even a temporary suspension.

The EC wrote in its announcement that it had adopted the first designation decisions under the Digital Services Act (DSA). It has designated 17 Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) and 2 Very Large Online Search Engines (VLOSEs) that reach at least 45 million monthly active users.

Google is most impacted, with its search engine, Play, Maps, Shopping, and YouTube all on the list. Meta's Facebook and Instagram are on there, as is Alibaba Express, Amazon, Apple's App Store, Booking.com, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, Wikipedia, Bing, and German online retailer Zalando.

The companies have four months to meet the obligations. The rules include giving users information on why they are recommended certain information and giving them the right to opt out of the recommendation system.

Platforms are also banned from showing ads to a user based on their sensitive information, such as ethnicity, political opinions, or sexual orientation. They are also prohibited from building profiles of children for ad-targeting purposes, and there must be protections for younger people. Additionally, platforms must make it easy for users to report illegal content.

The designated companies must provide their first annual risk assessment by August 25. Their risk mitigation plans will be subject to an independent audit and oversight by the Commission.

"Platforms will have to identify, analyze and mitigate a wide array of systemic risks ranging from how illegal content and disinformation can be amplified on their services, to the impact on the freedom of expression and media freedom," wrote the EC. "Similarly, specific risks around gender-based violence online and the protection of minors online and their mental health must be assessed and mitigated."

The Guardian writes that Twitter has been repeatedly warned that it is not ready to comply with the new rules, risking a fine of 6% of its global turnover or even a temporary suspension of the service. The company has laid off around 6,000 people since Elon Musk took over, leaving it with about 1,500 staff that many fear isn't enough to meet the DSA's demands.

The EU's commissioner for the internal market, Thierry Breton, previously said Twitter needed to raise its efforts to "pass the grade."

Breton also said that TikTok would allow European Commission officials to carry out a "stress test" of its systems to ensure they comply with the DSA. "Today is the D(SA)-Day for digital regulation," he said.

It's not just the EU that is cracking down on big tech. The UK government unveiled draft legislation to address the "excessive dominance" that companies have in digital markets. It will also protect consumers from unfair practices.