ó Google, Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc. and other tech
firms are one step closer to facing the threat of fines
if they fail to speedily remove terror propaganda from
their sites, under new European Union rules backed by
European Parliamentís civil liberties committee
endorsed draft rules that would require web platforms to
wipe Islamic State videos and other terror content from
their services within an hour of notification for
removal by national authorities. Companies could be hit
with fines as high as 4 percent of annual revenue if
they systematically fail to remove problematic content.
paves the way for negotiations between the EUís three
institutions ó the parliament, the blocís member
states and the European Commission ó to hammer out the
final version of the text before it enters into force.
comes amid a growing backlash against technology
companies to curb illegal activity on their sites. The
U.K. on Monday outlined plans for an industry-funded
regulator that would police the technology companiesí
platforms for harmful content, such as incitement to
terrorism and child sexual exploitation.
large tech firms have developed automated tools to help
catch malicious posts, EU officials say their efforts
havenít gone far enough. Facebook and Alphabet
Inc.ís YouTube have also come under fire in recent
weeks for failing to quickly remove a video
live-streamed by the alleged gunman of the March 15
mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, which left
50 people dead.
of expression activists say the EU rules are part of
wider effort to make tech platforms legally liable for
the content users upload on their sites. They worry tech
firms will err on the side of caution to avoid fines and
potentially remove more content than is necessary.
Smaller platforms are also likely to bear the brunt of
the rules given they have fewer resources than larger
companies to comply with the law.
European Commission, the blocís executive body, first
proposed the legislation last fall and it was
subsequently backed by the EUís members states in
negotiations on the text are likely to be delayed until
the second half of the year as the institutions are
unlikely to reach an agreement on the final text before
the European Parliament holds elections at the end of