The Regulation approved by the European Parliament on tackling terrorist content from online platforms is a good step forward. However, it could have been much stronger and effective if the Left Groups hadn’t blocked important measures which would have made it much more difficult for terrorists to spread their message using online platforms. Such measures include a cross-border cooperation system, a necessity for the hosting service providers to cooperate with competent authorities sending referrals, as well as the compulsory pro-active measures taken by online platforms to detect and remove such content by themselves. The Left Groups also tried to block, without success, a measure to oblige platforms to remove terrorist content within the hour after being informed by the competent authorities.
Rachida Dati MEP, EPP Group Spokeswoman on the legislation, explained the importance of cross-border removal orders: “When it comes to online terrorist content, time is of the essence. This is why we insisted that all competent authorities should be able to send removal orders to all online platforms. Disabling access to terrorist content in only one Member State is not good enough. Such dangerous content should be removed within the hour in all Member States.”
Besides removal orders, we insisted that the competent authorities should also be able to make companies aware that they have terrorist content on the platform that they host, which should be assessed as a matter of priority.
The EPP Group also pushed forward the idea that hosting service providers should be obliged to take proactive measures against terrorist content. “A terrorist video or message can spread online in the form of hundreds of thousands of copies within seconds. All hosting service providers exposed to terrorist content should themselves be actively involved in detecting and deleting terrorist content published on their platforms. Everyone should be responsible in the fight against terrorism”, Dati said, whilst expressing discontent with the fact that the Left Groups decided not to support such important measures.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 216 Members from 28 Member States