Facebook is currently facing regulation efforts around the globe after years of privacy and data mishaps — including pressure from lawmakers the U.S. However, one of the most severe blows came this week when the European Union’s highest court ruled that it can force the company to remove “hateful content” anywhere in the world.
European countries have long taken a stronger stance on issues of privacy than the States. However, this ruling is extreme even by those strict standards. Essentially, it means that only a few ruling bodies can control the flow of information across the platform. There’s also the problem of considering what’s acceptable around the world; something deemed “hateful” in one country may be fine in another. For its part, Facebook vehemently disagreed with the ruling and promised to push back.
“[The judgement] undermines the long-standing principle that one country does not have the right to impose its laws on speech on another country,” Facebook said in a statement. “It also opens the door to obligations being imposed on internet companies to proactively monitor content and then interpret if it is ‘equivalent’ to content that has been found to be illegal.”
In general, the more Facebook has to submit to regulation, the better it will be for our privacy. But in this case, it may be an overreach.
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