Today, European Commission published new guidelines for social network and among them, there’s a request for these websites to remove reported terrorist content within one hour (via Financial Times).
In 2016, the Commission had called for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft to put forth more concentrated effort into removing hate speech from their platforms. Since then, the Commission has been pleased with how the companies have improved their efforts to removing hate speech.
While the Commission is impressed with the companies and their increased efforts, it’s also becoming increasingly concerned about terrorist content in particular and is once again requesting these companies for a quicker turnaround when they review this type of material.
“Online platforms are becoming people’s main gateway to information, so they have a responsibility to provide a secure environment for their users,” Andrus Ansip, VP for the Digital Single Market, said 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.”
In the Commission’s newly published guidelines, they request that companies review terrorist content and be removed from their platforms within one hour of it being reported because it “is the most harmful in the first hours of its appearing online.” In addition to requesting terrorist content be removed within an hour, they Commission wants social networks to implement better automated detection systems and more efficient tools be developed so that they don’t always have to rely on incoming reports.
The Commission has said that it will continue to work with social network, review their performances in regards to the new guidelines and later determine if additional steps are necessary, such as legislation. For right now though, the Commission hopes that social networks continue their efforts like they did with hate speech and scope in on terrorist content online.