The EU Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee has voted in favor of the Terrorist Content Regulations which will require online platforms to take down what the EU deems to be “terrorist” content within one hour. In total, 35 voted in favor of the regulations, one voted against, and eight abstained.
According to Politico reporter Laura Kayali, there have been a couple of minor amendments to the final text of the regulations:
- The one hour removal deadline stays unless it’s the first time the platform receives a removal order.
- Mandatory “proactive measures” for platforms have been replaced with voluntary “specific measures.”
Kayali also reported that the The Greens/European Free Alliance submitted an amendment to scrap the one-hour removal deadline for platforms but it was rejected.
Before the vote, human, consumer, and digital rights groups identified multiple problematic areas of these regulations which include:
- Vague and broad definitions which fail to properly protect legitimate expression which is protected under international human rights law
- The requirement to remove suspected terrorist content within an hour without mandating the courts’ involvement
- The ineffectiveness of the regulations when it comes to combating actual terrorists
- The requirement of “proactive measures”
While the final text does remove the requirement of “proactive measures,” it does nothing to address the other problematic areas of these regulations. As a result, the regulations could still seriously damage online speech and force small online platforms to invest heavily in expensive filtering technology.