Statement on the passing of the EU regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online

This week, the EU Parliament announced that there would be no vote on the Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online. Civil society organisations across Europe have expressed their disappointment with this decision.

The new regulation, which was adopted in the face of opposition from several organisations and MEPs, includes an obligation for tech platforms to remove “terrorist content or disable access to terrorist content in all member states as soon as possible and in any event within one hour of receipt of the removal order.”

Jacob Berntsson, Head of Policy & Research at Tech Against Terrorism, said:

We are disappointed that the regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online was not subject to a vote.

“The new obligations on online platforms, such as the one-hour removal deadline, will be nigh on impossible for most small platforms to implement effectively. Given that terrorists exploit smaller platforms due to their lack of capacity and resources, this regulation therefore risks not only being ineffective in achieving its intended purpose, but also harming smaller platforms in the process.

“Moreover, this regulation adds to a global trend in which governments are introducing online regulation that risks promoting extra-territorial enforcement and undermine the rule of law.

“If we are to preserve the diversity and fundamental freedoms of the internet, we must ensure regulatory interventions are proportional and practical. We urge policymakers and legislators in Europe and beyond to engage with the recommendations of civil society organisations and practitioners as they explore this subject further.