Today the Regulationon addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online becomes applicable. From now on, internet companies in the EU have to take swift measures to prevent the misuse of their services for dissemination of terrorist content.
A safer internet: Main elements of the new rules
- One-hour rule: Online platforms are obliged to remove terrorist content after receiving a removal order from a national authority within one hour.
- Removal orders must contain justifications why flagged material is considered to be terrorist content, including information on how to challenge the removal order.
- Strong safeguards to ensure the full respect of fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and the right to information. Materials disseminated for educational, journalistic, artistic or research purposes are exempt.
- EU countries will be able to sanction non-compliant companies proportionate to the nature of the infringement.
- Online platforms and national authorities will report annually on the amount of terrorist content removed, the outcomes of complaints and appeals, as well as the number and type of penalties imposed on online platforms.
Taking down terrorist content immediately is crucial to stop terrorists from exploiting the internet to recruit, encourage attacks, provide training and to glorify their crimes. The livestreamed terrorist attack in Christchurch in 2019 has served as direct inspiration and motivation for a number of copycat attacks, the latest one in Buffalo, USA, last month.
Given the continued presence of terrorist content on the web, the Commission proposed the Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online in 2018, entering into force on 7 June 2021. Since then, the Commission has been holding workshops for EU countries and internet companies to prepare for the application of the Regulation. Europol has also developed an EU Platform on addressing illegal content online to support the implementation of the Regulation. This way, they ensure that internet companies can receive removal orders from national authorities through a common secure channel.
- Publication date
- 7 June 2022
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs