Last Thursday (1 June), the European Commission published the results of a survey showing how online companies are fighting hate speech. The report was prepared by Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová.
“We will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening,” Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said a few months ago when the world was shocked by a murder broadcast by the murderer in real time on Facebook. This was not an isolated case. The online giant endured a wave of criticism because the video was not deleted by Facebook staff until two hours later. In the meantime, it was seen by 22,000 people, 1,200 of who shared it.
According to the Commission, companies operating on the Internet have actually begun doing something about the issue.
Jourová: They called me “the minister of truth”
It was Commissioner Jourová who opened the question of removing violent and hateful content from the Internet more than a year ago. Last May, the European Commission adopted a Code of Conduct that obliges online companies to review reported posts as quickly as possible and delete them immediately, if necessary. Although compliance with the Code is voluntary, firms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube did not hesitate to commit themselves to comply with it.