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Upcoming EU guidelines put new pressure on Internet companies to remove illegal content

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Upcoming EU guidelines put new pressure on Internet companies to remove illegal content

The draft guidelines push Internet firms to step up their efforts in countering illegal content such as hate speech or copyright infringement on their platforms, calling them to introduce “trusted flaggers” and take further measures to identify and delete offending content, Reuters reported.

The non-binding guidelines call on companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter to establish “trusted flaggers” who would identify illegal content on the platforms and whose notifications would be deleted quickly or even automatically. 

Moreover, the Commission urges the companies to publish detailed transparency reports. The guidelines, which are expected to be published by the end of September, also give the owners of deleted content a right to contest the removal.

The move by the Commission does not rule out the possibility of new legislation on the subject, which will depend on progress made on the issue by the companies. According to CNET, the situation will be evaluated in spring 2018, at which point the next step would be new legislation that would force companies to remove illegal content faster or face fines when they fail to do so.

Previously the tech companies agreed to the EU’s proposal to delete hate speech within 24 hours of it being flagged, leading to a more effective removal of offending content.

Author

Teemu Henriksson's picture

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2017-09-14 12:38

Author information

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