It's easy to see why an institution like the European Commission would want companies to better police their services-nefarious behaviours still run rampant online, and as we've seen, there are real-life consequences to not preventing bad actors from proliferating on a platform.
The European Commission has also called on internet companies, member states and Europol to increase their cooperation by ensuring that a point of contact at each entity is reachable 24/7. The Commission also proposes that aside from just expeditiously removing unsafe content from their platforms, tech companies should also be taking proactive measures to support the takedown process, citing automated tools.
Providers systematically failing to remove extremist content could face hefty fines of up to four percent of annual global turnover.
"Such content not only creates significantly negative impacts on individuals and society at large, but it also reduces the trust of users on the internet and affects the business models and reputation of those companies affected", the European Union said.
"And the shift in the nature of the attacks - so we have got more locals self radicalised - just underlines again the importance of tackling all the different ways in which people become radicalised". According to Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, the EU's new proposals will support the efforts of Member States to face their challenges: "The [proposals] will ensure European Union solidarity is effectively delivered on the ground - whenever and wherever needed".
"We need strong and targeted tools to win this online battle", Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said of the new rules.
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A code of conduct is being drawn up that will recommend that member states seek more transparency from social media platforms about those micro-targeting individuals on social media with messages and news.
Results of the European Commission's public consultation on the bi-annual clock change showed that 84% of EU citizens want to stop changing the clock. Where content has been removed unjustifiably, the service provider will be required to reinstate it as soon as possible.
As a follow-up, in March 2018 the Commission recommended a set of operational measures to be taken by companies and Member States to further step up this work. In addition, reforms to the processes of return and legal migration will be introduced.
Until now, Brussels had pushed for the industry to regulate itself, but for more than a year, European Union officials have had mixed reviews for the efforts of Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Google's YouTube.
Firms increasingly rely on a mix of machine learning, artificial intelligence and human moderators to spot and delete extremist content.