It’s no surprise that hate speech including support of terrorism is a serious issue on social media sites and perhaps even multiplayer gaming platforms. Europe, in conjunction with a group of tech heavyweights, is taking some more serious steps to combat it.
The European Commission, the Continent’s governing body, announced today that it has reached a landmark agreement with Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter wherein the popular tech platforms will voluntarily take steps to combat not only the creation and sharing of terrorist propaganda, but also some forms of person to person cyberbullying and hate speech.
As part of the agreement, the companies have agreed to:
- Develop clear rules outlining what types of hate speech are not permitted
- Improve the ability of users to report abuse on their platform
- Upon notification, remove “the majority” of hate speech from their network within 24 hours
- Cooperate with other social media and technology platforms to share best practices
- Cooperate with European Union countries when indications of terrorist support are uncovered
The overarching goal is to ensure that hate speech is policed as strictly on social media as it is on traditional media platforms, while still preserving freedom of expression. Where they draw the line is that speech that “offends, shocks or disturbs the State or any sector of the population” is not prohibited; but serious incitement to violence and hatred is.
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