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Facebook and Google may be fined in the EU if they don’t remove terrorist content

Facebook and Google may be fined in the EU if they don’t remove terrorist content
[Photo: gregroose/Pixabay]

The European Commission is drafting new rules that would require tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google to take down terrorist propaganda within one hour after being notified of its presence or face serious fines.

The proposed rule change comes after the EU issued new guidelines in March, which ordered faster content removal. The program was voluntary, though, and the EU decided it was simply not working well enough, as content was still present.

The new legislation backs up that rule with some hard-hitting fines. If any online service fails to remove terrorist content—like ISIS propaganda videos and hate speech—within an hour of being notified of its presence, and fails to install automated systems to prevent removed content from popping up again, that service could face fines up to a maximum of 4% of their worldwide revenue for the prior year, according to the proposal, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Wall Street Journal also did the math (a tip of the hat for that, folks!), noting that 4% of Alphabet’s budget would be $4.43 billion and for Facebook, $1.63 billion.

Back in 2016, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (the latter of which is owned by Google) agreed to review and remove a majority of hate speech within 24 hours, including racist, violent, or illegal posts or in the case of Facebook, murder and Burt Reynolds’s centerfolds.

The proposal requires approval from the EU’s parliament and member states to become law.

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