The European Union Cracks on Internet Giants

Tech firms will face EU fines if they fail to take down radical content within an hour of its upload.

EU Demands Removal Of Extremist Content Within An Hour

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Union, has propositioned to penalize the internet titans such as Twitter, Google, and Facebook in case they go belly up to remove extremist content from their online platforms within one hour.

In his addressal to the State of Union, the President of the European decided to double down on a warning given to the tech companies in March, which demanded from them to take a hands-on approach towards removing any content or post that can or instigate(s) extremist activity within the span of three months.

But citing the heedless behavior from the tech firms, Mr. Juncker suggested to the European Parliament that a legislature should be introduced to curb the extremist content with more exigency.

The initial plans from Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker requires support from the European Parliament as well as the European Union’s countries. The plans will make sure that the tech companies are penalized up to 4% of their annual gross revenue in case they fail to adhere to the guidelines.

In his annual address, Mr. Juncker said, “One hour is the decisive time window the greatest damage takes place.”

The concern about rising extremist content online has seen a rise over the past few years.

Prime Minister Theresa May had put forth the demand in 2017 urging internet firms to take some stringent measures against online extremists after a terrorist attack that took place near London Bridge.

A Facebook spokesperson said, “There is no place for terrorism on Facebook, and we share the goal of the European Commission to fight it and believe that it is only through a common effort across companies, civil society and institutions that results can be achieved. We’ve made significant strides finding and removing terrorist propaganda quickly and at scale, but we know we can do more.”

In reality, Mr. Juncker’s proposals would necessitate internet giants like Facebook and Twitter to stiffen their content monitoring policies by developing new strategies to completely eliminate the hate generating online posts.

A combination of human moderators and artificial intelligence will be involved to pin-point the content. The European Commission’s voluntary code of conduct on hate speech will be retained. The code of conduct has been agreed upon by YouTube, Instagram, Microsoft, Twitter, and Facebook in 2016.