As of June 7th, 2022, the EU Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online (TCO) will be applicable across Europe. This will have a significant operational impact on all hosting service providers (HSPs) offering their services in the EU, irrespective of their place of establishment. In short, the regulation aims to ensure that HSPs take action against terrorist content online and introduces the “golden hour” rule. HSPs will have one hour to respond to law enforcement’s requests to remove terrorist content from their platform.
Who does the Terrorist Content online regulation apply to?
To all hosting service providers (HSP) – meaning any provider that:
- Stores information provided by and at the request of a user, and
- Makes the stored information available to third parties
This includes social media platforms, video streaming services, multimedia file-sharing services, and other cloud services. HSPs that have users in one or more Member States or target their activities towards one or more Member States will also be impacted.
New Obligations for HSPs
As an HSP under the scope of the TCO, below are some of your new obligations:
|Single point of contact and legal representative||Establish a single point of contact who will receive removal orders or referrals. Designate a person as your legal representative in the Union who can be held liable for non-compliance.|
|Remove / Disable Access||Remove or disable access to the terrorist content within 1 hour of getting a removal order.|
|Implement proactive measures||Implement rapid content assessment measures, including automated tools, in case of a referral. Mitigate and manage risk and level of exposure on your service. Implement human oversight and verification procedures for automated detection and removal tools.|
|Preservation of content and data||Preserve removed or blocked content for 6 months, and longer if requested by authority. Apply technical and organisational safeguards on preserved content.|
|Complaint mechanism||Establish mechanisms that allow users to contest the removal/blocking of content they had uploaded and to request that it be reinstated. Address every complaint without delay and reinstate the content if removal is unjustified.|
|Information to users||Inform users about the removal/blocking of their uploaded content. Upon request, give reasons for the action taken, unless determined otherwise by competent authorities.|
|Cooperation||If you become aware of any terrorist content, promptly inform relevant authorities.|
|Transparency||Clearly communicate your policies and measures to prevent the dissemination of terrorist content in your terms and conditions. Publish annual transparency reports on all measures taken to comply, including the use of automated tools. Reports should also note the amount of content removed/blocked as well as an overview of the complaint procedures in place.|
Implications for HSPs
From 7th June onwards, HSPs will need to take a number of steps to be compliant with the TCO – the most immediate being setting up a single point of contact and communicating it to the Member States.
Failure to comply with the above obligations can result in penalties up to 4% of the HSP’s global turnover.
Other operational implications include setting up measures to mitigate the risk of exposure to terrorist content on their services, implementing procedures to assess notified content, adopting proactive measures to protect their users and services, establishing complaint mechanisms, and finally, setting up procedures to routinely publish transparency reports on different aspects of their obligations.
Tremau’s solution provides a single trust & safety content moderation platform that prioritises compliance as a service and integrates workflow automation and other AI tools. The platform ensures that HSPs can respect all TCO requirements while improving their key trust & safety performance metrics, protecting their brands, increasing handling capacity, as well as reducing their administrative and reporting burden.
Tremau Policy Research Team
Image from: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/infographics/terrorist-content-online/
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