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Social media sites aren't living up to a promise with the EU to quickly target hate speech


The target can realistically be achieved, but this will need much stronger efforts by the IT companies.
EU Commission official

Six months ago, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft signed a promise in Europe to take action against hate speech posted on their sites within 24 hours. On Sunday, the European Commission said the companies haven't followed through, Reuters reports. A commission official said just 40 percent of cases were reviewed within 24 hours.

What happens now?

The Commission may write laws to force the tech giants to move more quickly. 

The response rate varied by nation. In Germany and France, racist posts were removed more than 50 percent of the time, but only 4 percent of posts in Italy were removed, according to EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova.  Besides a full-on deletion of the post, other options included better cooperation with government agencies and the promotion of anti-hate "counter-narratives."

The fastest and slowest sites

The response speed also varied across platforms. Twitter was the slowest to act against hate speech, while YouTube was the fastest, Engadget reports.

Twitter recently started a crackdown on hate speech, targeting members of the white nationalist group National Policy Institute.

Some critics thought this issue was overly politicized.

Others saw it as censorship.

But some backed the EU's stance.

Should social media sites do more to fight hate speech?

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