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EU pushes tech firms to crack down on extremist content

EU pushes tech firms to crack down on extremist content
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The European Union (EU) wants major internet firms to do more to keep "terrorist content" off their platforms.

Julian King, the EU's security commissioner, said Wednesday that while tech firms like Google, Twitter and Facebook are adding resources toward cracking down on such content, he believes they still need to do more.

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“We are not there yet. We are two years down the road of this journey; to reach our final destination we now need to speed up our work,” King said in his closing speech at an EU Internet Forum meeting.

The forum was created with the aim of fostering cooperation between European governments, law enforcement and tech firms in cracking down on terrorist content.

King’s remarks came at the end of the forum, in which members discussed various solutions for curbing such content.

On Wednesday, members of the forum presented a report highlighting the progress tech companies and European law enforcement have made on the issue, according to Reuters.

The report urges firms to remove “new and historical terrorist content, and to develop solutions to identify and remove terrorist content within 1-2 hours of upload, to the extent it is technically feasible, without compromising human rights and fundamental freedoms,” according to the outlet, which reviewed the report.

Despite concerns, the EU still wants to toe the line between stamping out problematic content and not infringing on free speech.

"There is growing evidence that online incitement to hatred leads to violence offline. We must step up work to limit and eradicate this phenomenon online,” said EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumer and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová.

“However, tackling online hate speech is a delicate exercise that requires to define clearly where freedom of expression stops and where hate speech starts.”