The European Commission has ordered 22 member states, including Ireland, to take extra steps in tackling the spread of terrorist content.
The EU is ramping up its efforts to prevent the spread of online terrorist content and recruitment by extremist groups.
The European Commission has sent letters of notice to 22 member states – including Ireland – for failing to comply with obligations on tackling terrorist content.
Regulation that came into effect in July 2022 requires EU countries to take certain measures to prevent the spread of terrorist propaganda.
These measures include designating an authority responsible for issuing removal orders and creating rules for when companies fail to remove harmful content from their platforms.
Terrorist organisations have been using the internet as a means to spread harmful content and as a means of recruitment for years.
The European Commission began tackling this issue more directly in 2018, when it revealed plans to roll out stricter regulation on social media platforms, along with warnings of hefty fines if they failed to comply.
Prior to this, European leaders had criticised tech platforms such as Facebook and Twitter for the failure to take down this type of content.
The Commission’s efforts culminated in the Terrorist Content Online Regulation, which provides a framework for both hosting service providers – such as social media platforms – and member states to follow.
The overall goal of this regulation is to ensure that these service providers take down terrorist content within one hour, in order to curb the spread of online propaganda.
The Commission said the notice sent to 22 member states today (26 January) is designed to make them adapt their national rules “as quickly as possible” to the content regulation.
The 22 countries have been given two months to respond to the European Commission and implement new measures to comply with the regulation.
“In the absence of a satisfactory response, the Commission may decide to issue a reasoned opinion,” the European Commission said. A reasoned opinion is a formal request to comply with EU law.
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