Facebook and YouTube Face Hate Speech Crackdown in the EU
FORTUNE – DAVID MEYER
European lawmakers have proposed a major crackdown on illegal online content, particularly hate speech and terrorist content.
The move would have a big impact on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, and civil liberties activists are worried that the proposals would lead to greater online surveillance and censorship.
The proposals unveiled Thursday by the European Commission—the EU’s executive body, which comes up with new laws—include the idea that online platforms should build “automatic detection technologies” in order to prevent the reappearance of content that has already been flagged as illegal.
They also call for “voluntary proactive measures to detect and proactively remove illegal content.”
For now, these are proposals for new guidelines that online platforms should follow evenly across the EU—countries such as Germany already have laws forcing platforms to do more to tackle illegal content. However, the proposals come with the threat of EU-wide legislation if the platforms don’t abide by the guidelines voluntarily.