Drastic times call for drastic measures, and it seems like EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker feels we’ve entered the dire zone when it comes to extremist content. He’s called for a fine penalizing websites that allow extremist content on their platforms for longer than an hour.
In an annual State of the Union address, Juncker indicated that too little had been done in the three months internet firms had been given to remove radical posts in a timely way. The proposed fine would target up to 4% of an offending party’s annual global income, which would come to $4.4 billion for Google, Youtube’s parent company. Any such move would need to be ratified by EU member states and the European Parliament.
Internet companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter have received heavy criticism from European governments for not moving quickly enough to remove content promoting violent extremism. Facebook claims an 83% success rate for the removal of content affiliated with ISIS or Al-Qaeda, and YouTube has committed 10,000 employees to manually blocking extremist content.
“We welcome the focus the Commission is bringing to this and we’ll continue to engage closely with them, member states and law enforcement on this crucial issue,” Google said in a statement.
Unstated in the announcement were free speech considerations.
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