EU targets tech giants with tough new anti-terror content rules

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Even though Google, Twitter and Facebook have been allegedly trying to curb the spread of radical sentiments on their social platforms, the European Union isn’t satisfied.

The EU will soon be proposing a new law that will force all technology companies – including large and small businesses – to identify and delete terror propaganda, with failure to comply leading to hefty fines.

The details of the legislation are still being discussed but, as Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reports, it could follow the guidelines laid down in March this year, which gives internet companies an hour to inform authorities and take down any content referring to terrorism, hate and violence, child sexual abuse, counterfeit material and copyright infringements.

Read more: Uganda imposes hefty social media tax to cut down on ‘gossip’

No more complacency 

The EU made internet companies sign a code of conduct last year that would see abusive and terror content pulled down within 24 hours of being posted, but Brussels is looking to abandon the self-regulatory approach. 

According to the Financial Times (opens in new tab), the EU has “not seen enough progress” and is thus taking “stronger action in order to better protect our citizens”.

“We cannot afford to relax or become complacent in the face of such a shadowy and destructive phenomenon,” Julian King, the EU’s commissioner for security, told the Times.

Until now, companies running online social platforms were not considered legally responsible for what was posted, but if the new legislation is passed, that will change.

Before this tough new approach becomes law, however, the European Parliament will need to approve the proposal and be passed by a majority of member states.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (yes, she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing cameras and lenses, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She also contributes to Digital Camera World and T3, and helps produce two of Future's photography print magazines in Australia.