Commission reinforces EU response to illegal content online

05 marzo 2018

On March 1, 2018, the European Commission issued  a raccomandation, which set out 

operational measures to ensure faster detection and removal of illegal content online, to reinforce the cooperation between companies, trusted flaggers and law enforcement authorities, and to increase transparency and safeguards for citizens:  

  • Clearer 'notice and action' procedures: Companies should set out easy and transparent rules for notifying illegal content, including fast-track procedures for 'trusted flaggers'. To avoid the unintended removal of content which is not illegal, content providers should be informed about such decisions and have the opportunity to contest them.

  • More efficient tools and proactive technologies: Companies should set out clear notification systems for users. They should have proactive tools to detect and remove illegal content, in particular for terrorism content and for content which does not need contextualisation to be deemed illegal, such as child sexual abuse material or counterfeited goods.

  • Stronger safeguards to ensure fundamental rights: To ensure that decisions to remove content are accurate and well-founded, especially when automated tools are used, companies should put in place effective and appropriate safeguards, including human oversight and verification, in full respect of fundamental rights, freedom of expression and data protection rules.

  • Special attention to small companies: Theindustry should, through voluntary arrangements, cooperate and share experiences, best practices and technological solutions, including tools allowing for automatic detection.This shared responsibility should particularly benefit smaller platforms with more limited resources and expertise.

  • Closer cooperation with authorities: If there is evidence of a serious criminal offence or a suspicion that illegal content is posing a threat to life or safety, companies should promptly inform law enforcement authorities. Member States are encouraged to establish the appropriate legal obligations.

These measures may differ according to the nature of the illegal content, and the Recommendation encourages companies to follow the principle of proportionality when removing illegal content.

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