The European Union has stepped up pressure on the world’s largest internet companies, including Facebook, Google, and Twitter, to remove illegal content such as child porn, as well as material from terrorist groups, from their platforms.
Among other recommendations, the European Commission asked tech companies to remove terrorism-related content from their platform within one hour of being flagged by law enforcement agencies or Europol, the EU’s police agency, claiming that terrorist content is most harmful in the first hours of its appearance online.
Last year, the commission called upon social media companies to develop a common set of tools to detect and get rid of hate speech and terrorist propaganda from their platforms. Thursday’s recommendations warn tech companies to remove content faster or face legislation that forces them to do so.
“Online platforms are becoming people’s main gateway to information, so they have a responsibility to provide a secure environment for their users,” said Andrus Ansip, the commission’s digital single market vice president, in a statement. “What is illegal offline is also illegal online. While several platforms have been removing more illegal content than ever before — showing that self-regulation can work — 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.”
Facebook told BuzzFeed News that it sided with the commission. “We share the goal of the European Commission to fight all forms of illegal content. There is no place for…