Countering illegal hate speech online – EU Code of Conduct ensures swift response

London protest

(Unsplash, 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The fourth evaluation on the EU Code of Conduct shows that this Commission initiative delivers successful results.

IT companies are now assessing 89% of flagged content within 24 hours and 72% of the content deemed to be illegal hate speech is removed, compared to 40% and 28% respectively when the Code was first launched in 2016. However,  companies need to improve their feedback to users.

Andrus Ansip, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market said: “Today’s evaluation shows that cooperation with companies and civil society brings results. Companies are now assessing 89% of flagged content within 24 hours, and promptly act to remove it when necessary. This is more than twice as much as compared to 2016. More importantly, the Code works because it respects freedom of expression. The internet is a place people go to share their views and find out information at the click of a button. Nobody should feel unsafe or threatened due to illegal hateful content remaining online.”

Vĕra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, said: “Illegal hate speech online is not only a crime, it represents a threat to free speech and democratic engagement. In May 2016, I initiated the Code of conduct on online hate speech, because we urgently needed to do something about this phenomenon. Today, after two and a half years, we can say that we found the right approach and established a standard throughout Europe on how to tackle this serious issue, while fully protecting freedom of speech. ”

Since its launch in 2016, the Code of Conduct has been delivering continuous progress, and the recent evaluation confirms that IT companies provide a swift response to racist and xenophobic hate speech content notified to them. However, they need to improve their feedback to the users notifying content and provide more transparency on notices and removals.

Companies remove illegal content more and more rapidly, but this does not lead to over-removal: the removal rate indicates that the review made by the companies continues to respect freedom of expression. Furthermore, thanks to the Code, partnerships between civil society organisations, national authorities and the IT platforms have been established on awareness raising and education activities.

Finally, four new companies decided to join the Code in the course of 2018: Google+, Instagram, Snapchat, Dailymotion. Today, the French gaming platform Webedia (jeuxvideo.com) has also announced their participation.

Background

The Framework Decision on Combatting Racism and Xenophobia criminalises the public incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin. Hate speech as defined in this Framework Decision is a criminal offence also when it occurs online.

The EU, its Member States, social media companies and other platforms, all share a collective responsibility to promote and facilitate freedom of expression in the online world. At the same time, all these actors have a responsibility to ensure that the internet does not become a free haven for violence and hatred.

To respond to the proliferation of racist and xenophobic hate speech online, the European Commission and four major IT companies (Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube) presented a “Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online” in May 2016.

On 7 December 2016, the European Commission presented the results of a first monitoring exercise to evaluate the implementation of the Code of Conduct. The results of the second and third monitoring round released on 1 June 2017 and on 19 January 2018 showed continued progress.

On 28 September 2017, the Commission adopted a Communication, which provides for guidance to platforms on notice-and-action procedures to tackle illegal content online. The importance of countering illegal hate speech online and the need to continue working with the implementation of the Code of Conduct feature prominently in this guidance document.

A Commission Recommendation on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online was published on 1 March 2018. It contains two parts, a general part on measures applicable to all types of illegal content and a specific part addressing the special actions that platforms would need to take to address terrorist content. In terms of the rules applicable to all types of illegal content the recommendation includes clearer ‘notice and action’ procedures, more efficient tools and proactive technologies, stronger safeguards to ensure fundamental rights, special attention to small companies and closer cooperation with authorities.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Military escalation will have ‘serious consequences’ for Yemeni civilians, warns UN Special Envoy

COP21 Breaking News: China has promised to cut emissions from its coal power plants by 60% by 2020

6 surprising side effects of this year’s global heatwave

The needs, challenges and power dynamics of refugee resettlement

OECD sees global growth moderating as uncertainties intensify

G20 LIVE: G20 Antalya Summit in Numbers, 15-16 November 2015

Service and Sacrifice: Guinean peacekeepers make their mark in Mali

“A Junior Enterprise is run only by students.. there are no professors or managers that can help you solve your problems”

At the edge of humanity: refugee healthcare in Greece and the EU

It’s time to fulfil the promises made to women 25 years ago

‘Deteriorating’ human rights in Belarus amounts to ‘wholescale oppression’: UN expert

The Europe we want: Just, Sustainable, Democratic and Inclusive

Low productivity jobs continue to drive employment growth

Ireland’s planning to make its Emerald Isle even greener

What Ghana can teach us about integrating refugees

Can green bonds help us manage climate risk?

AI-powered automation will have an ethnic bias

Obese people more likely to smoke, says new gene research: WHO

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

Conflict prevention, mediation: among ‘most important tools’ to reduce human suffering, Guterres tells Security Council

China, forever new adventures

European Court rules that ECB’s OMT program of 2012 is OK; not a word from Germany about returning the Greek 2010 courtesy

Predicting two more years of economic stagnation

Removing sweets from supermarket checkouts could help fight obesity

New UN poverty report reveals ‘vast inequalities’ between countries

Primary Healthcare: Back to the Basics

It’s EU vs. Google for real: the time is now, the case is open

Technology can help us save the planet. But more than anything, we must learn to value nature

South Africa still hasn’t won LGBTQ+ equality. Here are 5 reasons why

Macron crowned king of Europe in Washington D.C.; just a working meeting with Trump for Merkel

The refugee crisis as a young Nigerian doctor sees it

The Eurogroup protects Germany and blames others

Central Asia: the European Union matches political commitment with further concrete support

A Young entrepreneur cries out: “start in Europe, stay in Europe”

The Commission tells Berlin it is legally obliged to help Eurozone out of stagnation

Ensure that widows are ‘not left out or left behind’, UN chief urges on International Day

In the future, no one should be excluded from healthcare

Member States’ compliance with EU law in 2018: efforts are paying off, but improvements still needed

EU Council approves visa-free travel for Ukraine and cement ties with Kiev

Counting spillovers from the fast track EU-US free trade agreement

Emergency meeting called as Ebola spreads to Congolese city – UN health agency

Parliament adopts new rules for short-stay visas

ECB steadily continues monetary easing policy as EU economy gains momentum

Breaking barriers between youth in the new tech era: is there an easy way through?

Main results of EU-Japan summit which took place on 25/04/2019 in Brussels

EU and China to do more in common if the global scene gets worse

3 ways to fight short-termism and relaunch Europe

COP21 Breaking News: Conference of Youth Focuses on Hard Skills to Drive Greater Climate Action

How cultural understanding can help in the cultural shock

Recession: the best argument for growth

This Indian school accepts plastic waste instead of fees

Global health challenges require global medical students

Thousands flee fresh violence in South Sudan, many ‘suffering from trauma’

Dignified health for all who live here

EU-U.S. Trade Talks: European Commission presents draft negotiating mandates

250+ senior claims leaders under one roof, exchanging transformation strategy

South Sudan ‘revitalized’ peace deal must be inclusive, Security Council hears

These artists created a huge open library – and their idea’s gone global

Cameron’s “No Brexit” campaign wins top business support as Tory front breaks

16 foods that are good for you – and the planet

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s