Facebook and other major tech companies could soon face major fines in Europe if they fail to take down terrorist content quickly enough. The European Commission proposed legislation this week that would require Facebook to remove extremist posts within an hour of a government reporting it.
European governments have slapped Facebook with heavy fines before for not complying with privacy laws, but this new legislation would result in some of the steepest punishments ever handed down for the social media giant. Facebook, Google, YouTube and other platforms affected by the law could owe up to four percent of their global revenue for the previous year if they do not comply.
“You wouldn’t get away with handing out fliers inciting terrorism on the streets of our cities — and it shouldn’t be possible to do it on the internet, either,” EU security commissioner Julian King said in a statement.
Facebook did not explicitly agree with the policy, but it did say it would work with the EU to address the issue.
“There is no place for terrorism on Facebook, and we share the goal of the European Commission to fight it,” Facebook said. “We’ve made significant strides finding and removing terrorist propaganda quickly and at scale, but we know we can do more.”
There have been rumblings in the U.S. that Facebook needs to be regulated by the government, but the company has not remotely faced the kind of pushback here that it does overseas. Here’s hoping some of that oversight does eventually happen, and user privacy will be better protected.