The EU is drafting law to force websites to remove extremist content

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

The European Union is aiming to hold more tech companies and websites to account.

This is following a report from the Financial Times (paywall) that the EU is drafting a law that could force websites to police their platforms more vigorously and remove any extremist content from them.

The legislation would target sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in particular, all three of which have come under fire in recent years for not taking a more vigilant stance in ensuring that unsuitable content did not appear on their platforms.

The finer details of the law have not been explained, but European Union security commissioner Julian King has stated that it would mandate that companies would have to remove any extremist content from their website within an hour of receiving a notice.

King went on to add that the current approach adopted by the EU is not reaping any dividends, with extremist content still said to be a major issue that’s effecting the region.

He also added that Europeans “cannot afford to relax or become complacent.”

Precisely how companies like Facebook would react to such a law remains to be seen, but seeing as how they often adopt their own strategies and policies when it comes to enforcing content, there could potentially be a bit of push back.

How the European Union responds in kind would also be interesting to see play out, especially as the EU has had no qualms with holding big tech company’s proverbial feet to the fire, as was the case recently with Google’s sizeable fine.

We’ll have to wait until next month to see whether the draft law has any legs, with the legislation scheduled for publishing in September.

There’s still a lengthy process from there though, with each of the EU member nations still required to debate and vote on whether the law should take effect.

With several major websites taking a more assertive approach to divisive and extremist content in recent months, perhaps this new law will be the push they need to take a definitive stance… in the European Union at least.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.