EU considers fining tech companies for extremist content

EU considers fining tech companies for extremist content
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The European Union is weighing strengthening its rules against extremist content on technology platforms and could fine some of the world's largest social media firms.

Some members of its European Commission want to fine Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and other companies for failing to remove terrorist propaganda and other types of extremist content from its platform, according to the Financial Times.

The new move would be a departure from the commission's previous strategy of allowing tech companies to voluntarily remove extremist content.

Julian King, the EU’s security commissioner, told the newspaper that Brussels has “not seen enough progress” as a result of its previous approach.

“We cannot afford to relax or become complacent in the face of such a shadowy and destructive phenomenon,” King said.

The commission is reportedly currently drafting legislation to bring implement its plan.

If passed, it would be the first time the EU has imposed rules that go beyond self-regulation efforts favored by technology companies.

While the EU and European countries have sharply criticized technology companies over their handling of terrorist content during the last several years, some members of the European Parliament reportedly still believe self-regulation is a better approach than imposing new fines.

Despite crackdowns on terrorist content across major technology firms, extremist propaganda, calls for to carry out lone-wolf attacks and attempts to radicalize potential terrorists still exist on major platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as well as Google’s less-popular Google Plus.