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REVEAL | September 30, 2023

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REVEAL Results Vol. 4: Legalize it!

REVEAL Results Vol. 4: Legalize it!
Jochen Spangenberg

Part of the REVEAL work consisted of dealing with and researching the legal situation with regards to verification of user-generated content, the analysis of information residing in social networks, accessing respective APIs, making use of hosted content (e.g. for news reporting) and such like. It included shedding light on areas such as data protection, privacy, the “right to be forgotten” and much more. In this article of our “REVEAL Results series” we summarise work undertaken by CITIP at KUL Leuven in the legal domain, and point to respective resources.

Privacy and data protection aspects in REVEAL

REVEAL conducted detailed analyses of the (current and future) legal framework in the area of privacy and data protection. We put the main focus on questions related to processing of personal data from social media, for example the definition of a legal ground for processing or implementing the ‘right to be forgotten’ after the CJEU Google Spain judgement. We provided legal requirements for a platform such as REVEAL to ensure compliance with the data protection regulation. We also developed legal recommendations for policy makers addressing problematic aspects of the new data protection regulation (GDPR).

Image Reveal Deliverables

Image Reveal Deliverables

Findings are summarised in great detail in a number of extended project reports (accessible also on the website under “Deliverables” – more to be added there in Q1/2017) as well as postings elsewhere on this blog:

Deliverable Legal Regulatory Requirements Analysis 1

Deliverable Legal Regulatory Requirements Analysis 2

Post European Court Rules against Google: “Right to be Forgotten”

Post Google’s Advisory Council Hearings: Things to Remember and Things to Forget

Post REVEAL expert seminar on the Right to be Forgotten (RTBF)

Intermediary liability aspects in REVEAL

The REVEAL platform is an intermediary positioned between social media / social networks and REVEAL users. We analyzed the EU intermediary liability regime to ensure that REVEAL acts responsibly and does not risk liability for infringing third-party content. We provided requirements for handling removal requests in a way that would not disproportionately interfere with the right to freedom of expression. We also provided legal recommendation for the policy makers related to the recently proposed Copyright Directive and the ongoing review of the E-Commerce Directive.

Read more here:

Deliverable Legal Regulatory Requirements Analysis 1

Post The EU Notice & Action Initiative: Recent Developments

Post Delfi AS vs Estonia

Post Delfi revisited: The MTE & v. Hungary case

Post Not so different after all? Reconciling Delfi vs. Estonia with EU rules on intermediary liability

Media law and freedom of expression aspects in REVEAL

Media law and freedom of expression aspects were analyzed in the context of the journalistic scenario in REVEAL. We examined the case law of the European courts (ECtHR and CJEU) related to responsible journalism. We also looked at the internal codes of conduct that direct journalists in how to approach user-generated content.  We provided a legal perspective on issues relevant for REVEAL, such as the protection of journalistic sources, source verification and combating hate speech online, as well as recent phenomena such as automated journalism and filter bubbles. We provided policy recommendations on the topic of independent media regulators (AVMS Directive) and “fake news”.

Read more in the following posts:


Hate Speech - Freedom of Expression

Hate Speech – Freedom of Expression

The Code of Conduct on Online Hate Speech: an example of state interference by proxy?

Dear European Commission – academics express concern about monitoring obligations in the proposed Copyright Directive

AVMS Review and Media Regulator’s Independence: The Dancing Procession of Echternach?

The Filter Bubble: to burst or to blow over?

Send in the Robots: Automated Journalism and its Potential Impact on Media Pluralism

Compliance with API T&Cs in REVEAL

The last area of investigation dealt with the so-called API T&Cs (in full: “Terms and Conditions of the Application Programming Interfaces [of respective social networks]”). In the REVEAL project, the developer partners have encountered several issues in the attempt to build applications compliant with the API T&C of the targeted social media platforms. One of the main discoveries in the project was that there is no exception for research purposes. The REVEAL project looked at the API T&Cs of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, but the problem goes beyond these three platforms. Our research describes the encountered problems and the resulting changes in the offered functionalities. We also provide recommendations to the policy makers clarifying that the current situation could stifle a development of a fair and innovation-friendly business environment.

Find out more in the following posts:

Deliverable Legal Regulatory Requirements Analysis 2

Post The perils of app development – compliance with API Terms & Conditions

And finally: if you want to find all articles on the REVEAL website that cover related legal aspects, just click on on the tag “legal issues”, and they should all appear.


If you would like to provide any feedback on the work performed and illustrated above, this would be more than welcome. Feel free to get in touch on this or any related issues with the REVEAL team of CITIP at KUL Leuven, namely Aleksandra Kuczerawy and Peggy Valcke


All articles and findings presented above and on the linked sites have been provided by the REVEAL team of CITIP at KUL Leuven. They should not be used to base any types of decisions thereupon, especially those of a commercial nature. Furthermore, no responsibility / liability of whatever nature can be accepted for their contents, neither by CITIP nor the REVEAL consortium nor the hosts of the REVEAL website.