European law set to crack down on online terrorist content
Affected Countries: belgium;
A new EU law against online terrorist content entered into force on Monday.
The act – officially called the Terrorist Content Online Regulation – ensures that hosting service providers take prompt steps if terrorist content is published or disseminated on their sites.
Online platforms – including social media sites and video, image, and audio-sharing services – will have to remove terrorist content within an hour after an EU member state issues an order.
Under the measure, not only is directly soliciting to commit or contribute to terrorist offenses considered terrorist content, but inciting, advocating, or glorifying such acts as well.
In addition, online platforms will also have to immediately erase instructions on how to commit attacks.
If providers fail to comply with a one-hour removal order, EU countries will be able to impose penalties based on the company’s size and the nature of the infringement.
The maximum penalty may amount to 4% of the platform’s annual turnover.
“With these landmark new rules, we are cracking down on the proliferation of terrorist content online,” European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas said in a statement.
“From now on, online platforms will have one hour to get terrorist content off the web, ensuring attacks like the one in Christchurch cannot be used to pollute screens and minds,” he added, referring to a March 2019 massacre at a mosque in New Zealand that was livestreamed on Facebook.
While the legislation aims at preventing the dissemination of extremist ideologies, it is committed to preserving freedom of speech by obliging online service providers and EU countries to publish an annual report and putting a complaint mechanism in place.