EU Links Up with Twitter, Tech Firms to Combat Hate Speech

Associated Press, May 31, 2016

The European Union reached an agreement Tuesday with some of the world’s biggest social media firms, including Facebook and Twitter, on ways to combat the spread of hate speech online.

Under the terms of a code of conduct, the firms, which also include YouTube and Microsoft, have committed to “quickly and efficiently” tackle illegal hate speech directed against anyone over issues of race, color, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin. The sites have often been used by terrorist organizations to relay messages and entice hatred against certain individuals or groups.

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“The internet is a place for free speech, not hate speech,” said Vera Jourova, the EU commissioner responsible for justice, consumers and gender equality. She added that the code of conduct, which will be regularly reviewed in terms of its scope and its impact, will ensure that public incitement to violence to hatred has “no place online.”

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