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EU law could fine sites for not removing terrorist content within an hour

Critics say it’s a watered-down version of the EU’s original proposal.

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The European Union has been clear on its stance that terrorist content is most harmful in the first hour it appears online. Yesterday, the European Parliament voted in favor of a new rule that could require internet companies to remove terrorist content within one hour after receiving an order from authorities. Companies that repeatedly fail to abide by the law could be fined up to four percent of their global revenue.

The legislation is similar to guidelines published by the European Commission last spring, but as BBC News reports, critics say it is a watered-down version. Companies will not be required to monitor content, seek out illegal activity or install automatic filters. Additional measures -- like regularly reporting to authorities or increasing human oversight -- will only be required after repeated violations. Parliament also said smaller platforms should be given 12 hours of advanced notice before they are ordered to remove any content.

Parliament backed the legislation with 308 votes in favor and 204 against, but it will have to negotiate the text with the EU's Council of Ministers. Parliament elections are scheduled for May, so new members could have an impact on the final ruling.

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