On 22 June, the European Commission released the results of its fifth evaluation of the 2016 Code of Conduct on countering illegal hate speech online.
The results are overall positive with IT companies assessing 90% of flagged content within 24 hours and removing 71% of the content deemed to be illegal hate speech. However, the platforms need to further improve transparency and feedback to users. They also have to ensure that flagged content is evaluated consistently over time; separate and comparable evaluations carried out over different time periods showed divergences in performance.
Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, said:” The Code of conduct remains a success story when it comes to countering illegal hate speech online. It offered urgent improvements while fully respecting fundamental rights. It created valuable partnerships between civil society organisations, national authorities and the IT platforms. Now the time is ripe to ensure that all platforms have the same obligations across the entire Single Market and clarify in legislation the platforms' responsibilities to make users safer online. What is illegal offline remains illegal online. ”