The plenary vote on the EU Terrorist Content Regulation in the European Parliament has been confirmed for April 17. Earlier this week, the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee voted in favor of this regulation which will require online platforms to remove what the EU deems to be “terrorist content” within an hour of it first being uploaded. This plenary vote takes the regulation one step closer to becoming law in EU member states.
The plenary vote was announced by MEP (Member of European Parliament) Julia Reda on Twitter. Before making the announcement, she also highlighted new data showing that official EU agencies have falsely reported more than 550 Archive.org links as “terrorist content.”
Critics of the EU Terrorist Content Regulation have said that the final text is problematic due to its vague and broad definitions and the requirement to remove suspected terrorist content within one hour of upload. They believe that the regulation will do little to combat genuine terrorists but will stifle online speech and require online platforms to purchase expensive filtering technology. This new data which indicates that official EU agencies can’t accurately identify terrorist content gives the critics of the regulation even more reasons to be concerned.
The introduction of the EU Terrorist Content Regulation and its movement towards a plenary vote comes after the European Parliament approved another widely criticized piece of legislation that will limit creative expression online – the EU Copyright Directive. This Directive includes the infamous Articles 11 (the link tax) and 13 (the meme ban/upload filters) and is heading towards a final vote. If passed, Articles 11 and 13 would also suppress online speech, reduce the free flow of information online, and force small online platforms to invest in expensive technology that filters content uploads.