European Commission releases guidelines for content removal

The European Commission has released guidelines to help Internet companies remove illegal content more effectively from the web, as they are under increasing pressure to do so. The guidelines include the companies’ desired cooperation with EU Member States, the use of trusted flaggers, improving user-notifications, and investing in automatic detection and filtering technologies. The Commission may introduce legislation next Spring if it is not satisfied with companies’ progress, although it is reluctant to move into that direction. EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova, said: ‘I don’t like this running to the Internet, and we politicians blaming the Internet for all our problems.’ The Computer and Communications Industry Association, which represents the Internet industry, welcomed the Commission’s guidelines. Yet, some are concerned that the Commission’s recommendation for automation could infringe on free speech and could even represent ‘an attack on our fundamental rights‘.