How long should a social media platform allow illegal hate speech to remain on its site before removing it? Unfortunately, social media has become a tool for terrorist groups and others to spread “the public incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group” according to the European Union Framework Decision on Combatting Racism and Xenophobia. The longer such a post remains online, the greater the likelihood that it will be shared or “go viral.”

On May 31st, the European Commission, along with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, announced a code of conduct intended to combat the spread of online hate speech in Europe. Among other things, the code of conduct calls for platforms to remove illegal hate speech and remove or disable access to such content in less than 24 hours from its posting.

The European Commission’s press release on the code of conduct, including statements from representatives of Twitter, Google, Facebook and Microsoft, is available here. Contact us at Ossian Law regarding any information technology law matter.

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