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Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft commit to EU rules to fight hate speech

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Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft commit to EU rules to fight hate speech

By committing to the code of conduct, the companies agreed to review and remove hateful online content within 24 hours of being notified, according to the Hollywood Reporter. They also pledge to raise awareness with their users about the types of content not allowed under their rules and community guidelines.

The code of conduct specifies that the companies “take the lead” on combating the spread of illegal hate speech online, provoking criticism from the civil society.

European Digital Rights (EDRi) and Access Now called the document “ill considered”, pointing out that the companies “taking the lead” puts law enforcement authorities in a secondary position. The private companies are effectively given a leading role in specifying hate speech, mostly in accordance to their own terms of service, thus establishing the process “outside an accountable democratic framework”, the organisations conclude.

Moreover, EDRi and Access Now said civil society was “systematically excluded” from the negotiations that led to the new code of conduct, and said that they would not be participating in future discussions at the EU Commission’s “EU Internet Forum”.

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2016-06-01 10:53

Author information

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