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Online platforms now have an hour to remove terrorist content in the EU

Facebook, Google and Twitter now have an hour to take down flagged terrorist content spreading on their platforms or risk fines of billions of euros. 

Passed in 2021, the EU’s terrorist content regulation enters into force Tuesday. It seeks to crack down on terrorist propaganda on social media and viral livestreams of gruesome attacks such as the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings.

Public authorities such as law enforcement, interior ministries and Europol can now require a platform or cloud services to remove specific posts, music, livestreams, photos and videos inciting violence and glorifying terrorist attacks. Promoting terrorist groups and instructions for how to commit an attack will also be forbidden online. 

Any European Union country, from Hungary to Poland, can tell a company to remove terrorist content across the bloc.

Digital companies will have an hour to comply and will have to ensure similar content is not uploaded again. Users will be informed that their content has been deleted and can contest the decision. 

If tech companies regularly fail to tackle terrorist content, they could face a fine of up to 4 percent of their global revenue. 

The law has been criticized by digital rights activists who worry that the tight deadline and limited safeguards could stifle free speech. 

This article is part of POLITICO Pro

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