Google, FB, Twitter given an hour to remove extremist posts

September 12, 2018

The European Commission’s President has said Google, Facebook and Twitter must remove extremist content within an hour or face hefty fines.

In his annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker said an hour was a “decisive time window”.

Net firms had been given three months in March to show they were acting faster to take down radical posts. But EU regulators said too little was being done.

The proposal from the EU’s lead civil servant states that if authorities flag content that incites extremism, the content must be removed from the web within an hour.

Net firms that fail to comply would face fines of up to 4% of their annual global turnover.

The proposal will need backing from the countries that make up the European Union as well as the European Parliament.

In response to the plans, Facebook said: “There is no place for terrorism on Facebook, and we share the goal of the European Commission to fight it, and believe that it is only through a common effort across companies, civil society and institutions that results can be achieved.

A spokesperson for YouTube added that the site “shared the European Commission’s desire to react rapidly to terrorist content and keep violent extremism off our platforms.”

The Commission will retain its voluntary code of conduct on hate speech, agreed with Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube in 2016.