For immediate release | Monday, April 8, 2019

LIBE Committee Passes Critical Vote on the Terror Content File

Press Contact:

Media at CEP

(New York, N.Y.) – Following today’s vote in the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on the draft report on Preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) issued the following statements.

Executive Director David Ibsen: “Today’s vote was a critical step forward in the worldwide fight against the spread of terrorism. Police investigations have repeatedly proven the critical link between radicalizing content online and terrorist incidents. The Nice truck attack, the Bataclan concert hall attack in Paris, and the Manchester suicide bomb attack are but a few. The easy availability of terrorist content online continues to have a huge impact on radicalization, recruitment, and incitement to violence.

“The Parliament should be commended for their work on this important file. We now urge MEPs to move forward quickly with its adoption in plenary to ensure the final adoption upon their return. Efforts made by member states such as France and the UK to take down illegal content online must be facilitated and encouraged by the establishment of a European framework.

“One of the key measures proposed in this file was the obligation for platforms to take down any harmful content within one hour of being identified. CEP research demonstrates that the spread of terrorist content multiplies tenfold after two hours of being online. A one-hour deadline for removing terrorist content is critical to minimizing views, the sharing of dangerous content and the message of intolerance and violence it aims to spread.”

CEP Senior Advisor and former Minister for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton: “Commissioners Mariya Gabriel and Julian King have done a great job on supporting this file through the Parliamentary process. The Parliament’s vote confirms the Civil Liberties Committee’s position and we hope this will be passed swiftly following the constitution of the new Parliament. The recent tragedy of Christchurch proves once more that platforms are just not doing enough. It is way passed self-regulation time. We need stronger rules and the means to enforce them – this legislation will facilitate that.”