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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Friday, October 20, 2017

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Europe issues hate speech warning to social media firms

Warning on curbing hate speech

Share on Facebook September 30, 2017, Reporter : BNN, Reader : 57

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LONDON, U.K. - Social media giant who have come under strict scrutiny and have faced criticism after a string of terror attacks in Europe, have now been issued a warning on curbing hate speech on their platforms.

Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies were given an ultimatum by the European Union that asked them to rid their platforms of hate speech or face legal consequences.

For months now, European regulators have been pushing social media firms to remove racist and violent posts from their platforms in a timely manner.

Last year, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Google pledged to do more, promising to review a majority of hate speech flagged by users within 24 hours and to remove all illegal content.

On Thursday, the European Commission, EU's top regulator, said social media companies are still failing to act fast enough. 

It said it would pass laws allowing the EU to impose punishments on companies that fail to act.

Mariya Gabriel, the EU's top official in charge of the digital economy and society said, "The situation is not sustainable: in more than 28 percent of cases, it takes more than one week for online platforms to take down illegal content.”

The Commission further said it will consider implementing new laws to tackle the problem if the online platforms fail to "take swift action over the coming months."

It also added that it wanted the companies to invest more in detecting of hate speech, and work with trusted reviewers who are trained to know what constitutes hate speech.

Further, it also wants companies to do a better job of preventing illegal content from reappearing.

It warned that the punishments could be severe.

 

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