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The European Union has proposed that large Internet platforms should be fined if they fail to filter out extremist content within one hour. These services include Facebook, Google and Twitter. This is still a proposal, not a policy.

Last March, the European Union asked Internet companies to indicate what actions they were taking to remove extremist content as soon as possible. It now appears that the EU believes that it has not acted quickly enough and that too little is being done. As far as the European Commission is concerned, legislation is therefore needed to deal with this.

Quick removal

Press agency Reuters states that Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, stated in his annual State of the Union that damage caused by extremist content is done within an hour. Then it doesn’t matter whether the malicious content is removed or not, as it has already been seen by the people who are most vulnerable to it.

The Commission’s proposal is therefore to force Internet platforms to take action more quickly and to do so through legislation. The proposal will have to be supported by EU countries and the European Parliament. If that happens, platforms such as Facebook, Google and Twitter will have to work quickly on tools that prevent abuse.

Substantial fines

Under the proposed new rules, providers could be fined as much as four percent of their annual turnover if they consistently fail to remove extremist content within an hour. We need strong and focused tools to win this online battle, said European Commissioner Vera Jourova.

Since December 2015, the tech industry has been working on ways to remove extremist content as quickly as possible. In addition, a voluntary declaration was signed in the course of 2016 by deceased people such as Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube, in which they stated that they would do everything in their power to remove extremist content.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.