The European Union (EU) issued a stern warning to social media firms: remove terrorist content or face a multi-million non-compliance penalty.
The European commission has proposed a legislation whereby all member states can deliver sanctions against those who repeatedly fail to comply with the new removal orders within an hour of issuance. Penalties of up to 4% of the firm’s global revenue will be imposed.
The British security commissioner in Brussels, Julian King said that terror attacks have taken a new form with recruits being radicalized and instructed online. According to him, terror attacks which have occurred in the past 18 months have online roots:
“We have got a problem with content; it is not an entirely new problem, we are not starting from scratch, we have agreed to do some voluntary stuff, and we got some good progress – but not enough.
“And the shift in the nature of the attacks – so we have got more locals self-radicalized – just underlines again the importance of tackling all the different ways in which people become radicalized.”
He added, “So this online radicalization circle is one that we want to break. That is why we are going to take for the first time the step of proposing legislation that puts obligations directly on the platforms.
“This is the stuff that needs to be done, and it will be all platforms in Europe, wherever they are based. We need to do it because we just haven’t gone far enough, fast enough, with enough platforms.”
The commission believes that this law will come into statute in 2019 during UK’s post-Brexit 21-month transition period.
Under this law, EU would need to establish new platforms to install automated removal systems of terrorist content.
King said: “We have a series of elections coming up. We don’t know that they are going to be targeted. I don’t have intelligence that they are going to be targeted. But given the track record, there has to be a chance, and we have to up our game and be more resilient.”