Internet firms to face fines in Europe for not removing extremist content

Internet firms to face fines in Europe for not removing extremist content


The European parliament went through a voting process on Wednesday passing a proposal of imposing fines of up to 4 percent of their turnover on firms like Facebook, Twitter and Google in cases when such firms remain persistently failed to comply with the authorities’ instruction of deleting extremist content within one hour.

The precautionary measure that the governments have been taking become more emphasizing after a this March incident of killing 50 people by a gunman at the two mosques in New Zealand that went live streamed on one of the platforms of Facebook.

The parliament backed the proposal of handling the misuse of internet hosting services for “terrorist purposes” with 308 votes in favor of it against 208 votes with 70 abstentions.

The sanctions of fining up to 4 percent of their global turnover might be imposed on those companies which will persistently and systematically failed to abide by the law, the proposal says.

A new European Parliament is scheduled to be elected on May 23-26 and will finalize the text of the law after discussing it with the European Commission and representatives of EU governments, a process which will likely to be taking many months to conclude.

Terrorist material circulating on the internet for a longer period of time without being noticed is definitely a problem, said Daniel Dalton, the parliament’s rapporteur for the proposal adding that such propaganda can be associated with real terrorist incidents and authorities at national level must be in a position to act with certainty. And if Europe has to protect free speech then any new legislation must be realistic and fair.

EU officials are in believes that internet companies, under their voluntary measures, are not doing enough to block the terrorist content in the first hour despite knowing the fact that it is the most critical hour to restrict the viral spread of such online content, which moved the EU to regulate them through appropriate legislation.

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She is the Managing Editor for in-depth discussions and analysis as well as breaking news at Markets Morning. She works closely with Editor-in-Chief Zac Berry on content and publishing initiatives for the site. Brianna Clemons has worked as a financial journalist and editor since 1997. She lives in Bucks County, PA, with her husband, four young children and one dog.