Thursday, 21 March, 2019

European Union to tech companies: you have one hour to remove terrorist content

The European Commission last year called upon social media companies to develop a common set of tools to detect block and remove terrorist propaganda and hate speech European Union to tech companies: you have one hour to remove terrorist content
Patty Aguilar | 02 March, 2018, 03:04

The EU has told Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other internet companies they must take down "terrorist content" within an hour of it being reported or else laws will be created to force them to do so.

The EU already has voluntary agreements that it struck with the biggest web companies to take down terrorist content, such as Islamic State propaganda videos, and to remove from their websites information visible in Europe that incites hatred.

The EC specified that it doesn't see the rules as a blunt instrument or "one size fits all", explaining, "these measures may differ according to the nature of the illegal content, and the Recommendation encourages companies to follow the principle of proportionality when removing illegal content".

Digital commissioner Andrus Ansip said: "While several platforms have been removing more illegal content than ever before. we still need to react faster against terrorist propaganda and other illegal content which is a serious threat to our citizens' security, safety and fundamental rights".

Google did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.

In its strongest call yet the European Commission, based in Brussels, today recommended a range of new measures that online platforms should take to stop the proliferation of extremist content.

Furthermore, the EuroISPA called the one-hour time limit unreasonable.

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Last month the Commission said IT firms removed 70 per cent of illegal content notified to them in the preceding few months. The Commission wants the states to report on a regular basis, preferably every three months, on their referrals and follow-ups, as well as on overall cooperation with companies to curb terrorist online content.

Websites in the European Union will have one hour to remove content from terrorist organizations, due to new European Union regulations announced Thursday. These limits "clearly reflect that European law-makers fail to understand that such obligations would be nearly impossible to put in place for the vast number of small and medium size businesses all over Europe", the group said.

Tech giants use a combination of automated systems and human moderators to vet content. Facebook and Google have each said they have about 10,000 people reviewing content, and Facebook said it is planning to hire 10,000 more by the end of the year.

Luxury groups, meanwhile, welcomed the Commission's move saying action by online platforms is also necessary to fight the sale of counterfeit goods online.

The commission says they are created to make the process of flagging down and removing inappropriate content faster and to reinforce cooperation between companies, trusted flaggers, and law enforcement authorities.

This was compared to 59 per cent before May 2017, and 28 per cent in the months after the code of conduct was launched in 2016.

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