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Policy recommendations for platform liability for illegal material

A report from the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE), “Liability of online hosting platforms: should exceptionalism end?”, explores whether online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube benefit from a “liability free pass”. With the e-commerce directive, and other pieces of legislation, the EU has set an elaborate system of rules regarding the responsibility of online platforms. Since 2000, platforms have gained increasing economic and societal importance. The report considers if and how this growing importance ought to affect their liability exemption when hosting illegal material (e.g. terrorism content, child pornography, racism, xenophobia, diffusion of copyrighted material without licence or sale of counterfeit goods). “Many actors participate to the diffusion of illegal material online. The responsibility of a safe internet should be shared among all these actors. To do so, the law should encourage all parties, including online platforms, to contribute to tackling illegal material,” says Alexandre de Streel, CERRE joint academic director. Among the policy recommendations are that all actors, including the platforms, should share the responsibility of the detection and the removal of illegal content; that platforms should be required to provide the right infrastructure to ensure the effective and proactive detection of illegal content by using, for example, efficient monitoring systems based on automated detection technology; and platforms should provide their users with easy notification systems for effective and rapid removal of illegal material online. The report also says that for illegal material that justifies a more extensive duty of care, such as terrorism content or child pornography, the rules of the e-commerce directive should be accompanied by strict and effective co-regulation or self-regulation. Read more

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018

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