EU to Silicon Valley: Fix your hate speech problem, or else
By Noah Kulwin
The European Commission thinks American tech companies — Microsoft, Twitter, Google, and Facebook, in particular — are doing a poor job of fighting hate speech
In May, the four companies signeda “voluntary code of conduct” with the European Union, agreeing to take some concrete steps toward dealing with racism and hate on their services. This included promises to handle reported incidents within 24
hours, and increased staff training “on current societal developments.”
According to EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova, Silicon Valley hasn’t followed
through on their end of the deal.
“The last weeks and months have shown that social media companies need to live up to their important role and take up their share of responsibility when it comes to phenomena like online radicalization, illegal hate
speech or fake news,” Jourova told the Financial Times in an interview .
Jourova’s remarks come
during what’s been an incredibly tense few months for U.S. tech companies in Europe. These include a $14.5 billion back tax billfor Apple, a potential criminal probeof Facebook in Germany for hate speech law violations, and a tidal wave of fake and suspiciously pro-Kremlinnews on social media.
The Times additionally reports that a new
report prepared for Jourova shows that 40 percent of incidents were “reviewed within 24 hours,” and that 80 percent were examined within 48 hours; the Commission also found that YouTube is the fastest to respond to incidents, while Twitter is the slowest.
Furthermore, according to Jourova, if these companies don’t improve their responsiveness, the EU will take steps to force changes.
“If Facebook, YouTube,
Representatives for Facebook, YouTube, Microsoft, and Twitter did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
December 5, 2016 at 02:04PM
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