EU set to demand Internet firms act faster to remove illegal content

From Reuters - September 13, 2017

* EU wants step up in efforts against illegal online content

* Does not rule out further legislation

* Offers guidance on how such content can be removed quickly

By Julia Fioretti

BRUSSELS, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Companies including Google , Facebook and Twitter could face European Union laws forcing them to be more proactive in removing illegal content if they do not do more to police what is available on the Internet.

The European Union executive outlines in draft guidelines reviewed by Reuters how Internet firms should step up efforts with measures such as establishing trusted flaggers and taking voluntary measures to detect and remove illegal content.

Proliferating illegal content, whether because it infringes copyright or incites terrorism, has sparked heated debate in Europe between those who want online platforms to do more to tackle it and those who fear it could impinge on free speech.

The companies have significantly stepped up efforts to tackle the problem of late, agreeing to an EU code of conduct to remove hate speech within 24 hours and forming a global working group to combine their efforts remove terrorist content from their platforms.

Existing EU legislation shields online platforms from liability for the content that is posted on their websites, limiting how far policymakers can force companies, who are not required to actively monitor what goes online, to act.



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