The major tech companies are under pressure from the European Commission to be more proactive in curbing hate speech and provocation to terrorism. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) EU is one of the tech firms alongside Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google’s YouTube and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) that the European governments are looking up to. They have been asked to put their acts together in the code of conduct or face the possibility of laws.
The order comes in the midst of heightened racial tensions and national security concerns. Germany has particularly been in the spotlight because of the ongoing refugee crisis, which has sparked a chauvinistic backlash. Apparently, the country’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas points out that Facebook should be held legally responsible for any speech published to its platform.
Facebook EU: The tech giants have not been submissive to the code
It is a requirement that all the major US technology companies sign a code of conduct including Facebook EU in an effort to fight online hate speech. The firms are also required to agree to be part of a strengthening partnership with civil society organizations. However, a report commissioned by EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova indicates that the tech giants have not satisfactorily obligated to the code.
A majority of them have been struggling to comply with a voluntary code of conduct. Jourová says, “If Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft want to convince me and the ministers that the non-legislative approach can work, they will have to act quickly and make a strong effort in the coming months.”
The rapid spread of fake news online
There have been serious concerns over the online spread of racist content, which is primarily targeting refugees in Europe. Facebook has been one of the biggest victims. According to Jourová, social media companies need to live up their mandate of sharing responsibility in regards to online radicalization, fake news or illegal hate speech.
Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO and COO Sheryl Sandberg have been alleged to break national anti-speech laws. As a result, prosecutors in Munich launched an inquiry into these allegations. Nonetheless, it remains to be seen how committed Facebook EU is to its obligation.READ MORE +