(New York, N.Y. / Brussels) – On Tuesday, the EU’s Regulation on the Dissemination of Terrorist Content Online (TCO) entered into force. European public authorities can now require online platforms or cloud services to remove specific posts, music, livestreams, photos and videos inciting violence and glorifying terrorist attacks. Promoting terrorist groups and instructions for how to commit an attack will also be forbidden online.
Tech companies will have one hour to take down terrorist content after it has been flagged by an EU country. The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) has long advocated for the implementation of this measure. When terrorist content is not removed within one hour, it becomes much more difficult to police and can reappear online months and even years later in the form of reuploads.
Throughout the legislative process, CEP advocated for a responsible approach to regulating terrorist content and worked closely with the EU institutions.
CEP Executive Director David Ibsen said:
“Over the past decade, the continued proliferation of terrorist content online has contributed to radicalization to extremist ideologies, ultimately producing a deadly wave of terrorist attacks across the Europe.
“CEP identified early on that the dissemination of violence-oriented terrorist content online was one of the most challenging and dangerous aspects of the Internet, and we have argued ceaselessly that real legislative change had to be introduced.
“CEP worked jointly with all three of the main EU institutions to achieve this regulatory change and was often a crucial voice in Brussels advocating for a responsible approach to regulating terrorist content, while Big Tech lobbied hard to resist change. This week, our arguments have borne fruit.”
CEP Senior Europe Advisor Lucinda Creighton said:
“The Regulation on the Dissemination of Terrorist Content Online (TCO) is a pivotal step towards regulating the online space, for the safety of all European citizens.
“The TCO is something CEP has long advocated for and we are pleased to note that the regulations which have entered force align with our recommended provisions in a number of key areas, such as the one-hour removal of content requirement.
“The harm and damage caused by a piece of terrorist content in the first hour of its appearance online is significantly greater than at any other time. Obliging tech platforms to act during this critical period will therefore do much to protect European citizens.”