The European Commission has sent expansive guidelines targeting Facebook, Google and other technology companies to remove terrorist content and other illegal content online. The commission outlined recommendations, which apply to all forms of illegal content, including terrorist media, child sexual abuse, counterfeit products, copyright infringement and material that incites hatred and violence. The recommendations also specify clearer procedures, more efficient tools and stronger safeguards, including monitoring and verification by human beings, so that something that is incorrectly marked can be restored.
As part of the new guidelines, the commission requires companies to remove terrorist content one hour after it is submitted, claiming that content is more damaging in the first hours that appear online.
The vice-president of the European Commission, Andrus Ansip, said:
"While several platforms have eliminated more illegal content than ever before, demonstrating that self-regulation can work, we still have to react faster against terrorist propaganda and other illegal content that is a serious threat to security, security and fundamental rights. our citizens. "
Automated detection, tools to avoid reloading and an improved reference system among the EU member states are some other edicts that the commission recommends. This is the last of the EU's efforts to address illegal content.
The commission suggests these operational measures as a soft law before deciding whether or not to propose legislation. The recommendations are not binding, but they can still be used as legal references in court, notes The Wall Street Journal. The commission says they are designed to make the process of marking and removing inappropriate content faster and to strengthen cooperation between companies, trusted flaggers and law enforcement authorities.
According to WSJ, technology companies distrust that the guidelines may infringe on freedom of expression. The executives told the publication that they have already "stretched to meet the existing demands of the EU in the area."
Technology companies have been working with legislators on inappropriate content for years. Facebook previously said it wants to be a "hostile place" for terrorists and is using a mixture of AI and human intervention to eradicate terrorist content. YouTube also announced new steps last year, including automatic systems and additional bookmarks to fight extremism on its platform. In 2016, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and YouTube signed an EU code of conduct to counter hate speech online.
According to the new recommendations, technology companies and EU member states must publish periodic reports on how terrorism content is handled within three months and within six months for other illegal content.