Online terrorist content to be removed within the hour

Despite strong opposition from the Left Groups in the European Parliament, the EPP Group has secured that content uploaded online by terrorists will be removed within one hour after a request by law-enforcement authorities, according to the Report on legal rules to prevent the dissemination of terrorist content online approved today by the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.

Rachida Dati MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokeswoman on the file, said: “A disproportionately high number of shares and views of terrorist content happens within the first hours of the upload. We therefore made sure that this one-hour rule stays in the Report. The Left unfortunately removed important rules from the legislation, such as the possibility to refer content online by authorities to online platforms or the compulsory tracking and removing of terrorist posts by online platforms themselves. We will continue to seek for these mechanisms in the future. The fight against online propaganda, today’s most common root cause of radicalisation, is too important to be taken as a hostage of pre-election campaigning. We will not allow this to happen.”

Today’s vote came after months of unconstructive negotiations and after having the vote postponed twice. Roberta Metsola MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokeswoman in the same committee, commented on the difficult negotiations. “We had to do more to fight extremism and hate online. If we have learned one thing from the horrific attack in New Zealand, it is that we need faster, better systems to remove this sort of content from all social media. The video showing that attack has been watched and shared by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. This issue has now been addressed within the new EU law even though Groups on the Left tried to deny us this possibility. The EPP Group’s position is and always has been that our systems should not be used against us by those who seek to destroy our ways. If such a video was published in Europe, it would have to be removed from all social media channels immediately. No ifs or buts.”

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The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 28 Member States

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