Online platforms are getting better at removing hate speech, at least according to the European Commission.

Back in 2016 the European Comission launched the Code of Conduct initiative along with Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube. This aims to prevent the spread of racism and xenophobic hate speech online.

In total nine companies abide by the Code of Conduct including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Microsoft, Instagram, Google+, Dailymotion, Snapchat and Webedia

In the fourth evaluation of the Code of Conduct, the EC found that 89 percent of flagged content was removed from platforms within 24 hours. The evaluation also found that 72 percent of content deemed to be illegal hate speech was removed within 24 hours.

“Since its launch in 2016, the Code of Conduct has been delivering continuous progress, and the recent evaluation confirms that IT companies provide a swift response to racist and xenophobic hate speech content notified to them,” the EC wrote.

The commission also notes that companies aren’t just removing content to keep its removal rate high.

“The removal rate indicates that the review made by the companies continues to respect freedom of expression,” it said.

Now to address the elephant in the room. This Code of Conduct only applies to the EU and testing how well firms respond was only done for six weeks.

With that having been said when the response rate was first measured in 2016 only 40 percent of flagged content was removed within 24 hours and only 28 percent of illegal hate speech was removed in the same period.

Things are getting better online, well, so long as you aren’t spreading hate.

[Source – European Commission] [Image – CC BY SA 2.0 Vladimer Shioshvili]