Monday, August 20, 2018

EU targets tech giants with tough new anti-terror content rules

Companies will have just one hour to remove offending items


Even though Google, Twitter, and Facebook have been allegedly trying to curb the spread of radical sentiments on their social platforms, the European Union isn’t satisfied.

The EU will soon be proposing a new law that will force all technology companies – including large and small businesses – to identify and delete terror propaganda, with failure to comply leading to hefty fines.

The details of the legislation are still being discussed but, as Bloomberg reports, it could follow the guidelines laid down in March this year, which gives internet companies an hour to inform authorities and take down any content referring to terrorism, hate and violence, child sexual abuse, counterfeit material and copyright infringements.

No more complacency

The EU made internet companies sign a code of conduct last year that would see abusive and terror content pulled down within 24 hours of being posted, but Brussels is looking to abandon the self-regulatory approach. 

According to the Financial Times, the EU has “not seen enough progress” and is thus taking “stronger action in order to better protect our citizens”.

“We cannot afford to relax or become complacent in the face of such a shadowy and destructive phenomenon,” Julian King, the EU’s commissioner for security, told the Times.

Until now, companies running online social platforms were not considered legally responsible for what was posted, but if the new legislation is passed, that will change.

Before this tough new approach becomes law, however, the European Parliament will need to approve the proposal and be passed by a majority of member states.



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