DSA compliance handbook for Fediverse administrators

Some users are moving away from centralized platforms, such as Instagram or X, to federated social media platforms, sometimes collectively called the Fediverse. The Fediverse refers to a collection of interconnected, decentralized social media platforms bringing power back to users by letting them create their own server.

The EU has meanwhile adopted the Digital Services Act (DSA), aimed at increasing transparency and fundamental rights protection for social media platforms. Although the DSA may have been focused on larger, well-known platforms, it also introduces new rules for online platforms on the Fediverse. And because the Fediverse is decentralised, this means that the responsibility for compliance rests mainly on the server administrators of each instance.

To help Fediverse administrators comply with the DSA, the ILP Lab has developed a practical handbook. In this user-friendly guide, we demystify the DSA by outlining key provisions relevant to server administrators, with a focus on content moderation. We also provide detailed instructions on how to comply with the DSA requirements. By following these guidelines, server administrators can minimise legal risks, streamline their workflows and contribute to a more transparent online environment as envisioned by the DSA.

The handbook is written by Charlotte Verboom and Emese van Rijnswou, finished in June 2024.