A binding EU law proposal Google, Facebook i Twitter removing terrorist content within an hour of publication removed its final hurdle after EU lawmakers gave their support despite concerns from civil rights groups.
He European Commission had proposed the law in 2018, concerned about the role of this content after a series of attacks by radicalized lone wolf attackers in several European cities.
The community executive defines on line terrorist content as material that incites terrorism or is aimed at recruiting or training terrorists, as well as material that provides guidance on how to make and use explosives and firearms for terrorist purposes.
He European Parliament passed the law Wednesday afternoon.
Lawmaker Patryk Jaki said the legislation “balances security and freedom of expression and expression on the Internet, protects legal content and access to information for all EU citizens, while combating terrorism through cooperation and trust between states “.
Companies can face fines of up to 4% of their global turnover for non-compliance. They said they shared the efforts of regulators to address the issue and keep content off their platforms.
Some lawmakers who had opposed the law warned of far-reaching consequences.
“We are really risking censorship across Europe. The Hungarian and Polish governments have already shown that they have no problem removing content with which they disagree,” said European Parliament Vice President Marcel Kolaja.
“This regulation allows them to disseminate these practices in the territory of any other member state,” he said.
Civil rights groups, which had campaigned for lawmakers to reject the legislation, criticized the procedure, saying the legislation had been passed without a final vote by the assembly.
They said the new rule could strengthen authoritarian governments.
“As the rule of law in Europe continues to deteriorate, the EU is granting other broad powers to police authorities to crack down on legitimate protests, freedom of expression and online artistic and media freedoms,” Anna Mazgal said. , EU policy advisor at Wikimedia Deutschland.
The law will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.