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New EU regulation will help counter the spread of extremist ideologies on the Internet

29 April 2021

New EU regulation will help counter the spread of extremist ideologies on the Internet

Today, the European Parliament adopted ECR Rapporteur Patryk Jaki’s report on preventing the spread of terrorist content online. The new regulation will help counter the spread of extremist ideologies on the Internet by allowing member states to remove terrorist content immediately.

“It introduces, among other things, the ‘one-hour rule’, which means that the most dangerous content will be removed as soon as possible after its publication,” Mr. Jaki said. “I am deeply convinced that the new regulation balances security, freedom of speech and expression on the Internet.

It protects legal content and provides access to information for every citizen of the European Union. It is a new tool based on cooperation and trust between states fighting together on their shared cause against terrorism. The European Union has today acquired a powerful new tool to fight terrorism, which is very good news for our societies.”

After the adoption, Mr. Jaki added:

“We live in difficult times, and the terrorist threat to our society is always present. It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of citizens and prevent terrorist attacks.

“Today, the Internet has become the main haven for terrorists. This phenomenon even intensified during the pandemic and lockdown. It can be seen especially in the example of social media - for example, in 2020, Facebook removed over 43 million posts containing terrorist content, which was twice as many as the year before. As for Twitter, it blocked 300,000 accounts that spread terrorist propaganda in the last year, as well as left and right extremists, which was also a significant increase compared to last year.”

Mr Jaki said that the Internet and modern technologies had enabled terrorists to post content on the Internet that they fully control. Members of terrorist groups prepare professional propaganda campaigns, including magazines published online and live executions. That was why the EU response was necessary, according to the MEP.

For Mr. Jaki, the new regulation is a real breakthrough project:

“It is the first in the history of the EU to implement such a powerful tool for cross-border cooperation between the Member States in this area, “From now on, each country will have the right to send a removal order to another country, and this order will apply to everyone in the European Union. Failure to comply with the order will result in a high financial penalty.

“The regulation will also ensure that what is illegal outside the internet is also illegal online, and any Member State can send removal orders to any EU-based online platform. However, in line with the compromise reached, the Member State authorities where the content provider is located will have 72 hours to analyse and possibly contest the withdrawal order if they perceive, for example, a clear violation of freedom of expression.”

The regulation will create a new framework for cooperation between public institutions and the private sector. “We will all now have a duty to act in solidarity in the fight against terrorism,” he added.

At the same time, Jaki emphasised that potential threats to freedom, such as the obligation to filter the Internet, were removed. There are new guarantees for freedom of speech and that of the press and media. Freedoms for journalistic, research, artistic and educational purposes were taken into account.

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