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EU review of terrorist content online pushed back to include Israel-Gaza war

The terrorist content online regulation entered into force in June 2022.
The terrorist content online regulation entered into force in June 2022. Copyright Anupam Nath/AP2011
Copyright Anupam Nath/AP2011
By Cynthia Kroet
Published on
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The evaluation was originally planned for June of this year.

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A planned European Commission evaluation to assess the effectiveness of rules to combat terrorist content online has been pushed back to 2025 to include the Hamas attack against Israel on 7 October of last year, the EU executive said in a reply to  Parliamentary questions.

The terrorist content online regulation, which entered into force in June 2022, aims to counter terrorists’ misuse of social media and the dark web to radicalise, recruit and incite to violence.  

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said in a reply to questions from lawmaker Patrick Breyer (Germany, Greens/EFA) that the adoption of the evaluation report, which was originally planned this June, is now foreseen for the second quarter of 2025. 

The report will follow up on the adoption of the implementation and the monitoring programme, which was delayed due to the late transmission to the Commission of key information from Member States and hosting service providers, Johansson said.

“It was also considered important to reflect the application of the Regulation following the terrorist attack perpetrated by Hamas against Israel on 7 October 2023,” she added.

Under the rules, internet companies must take measures to prevent the misuse of their platforms. The legislation was sparked by events such as the livestreamed terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019 and in Buffalo, US, in May 2022.

Internet service providers must remove terrorist content online within one hour after receiving a removal order from a national government authority. Those regulators can also sanction platforms for non-compliance. 

The Commission also has powers to take down content under the Digital Services Act, which became applicable to very large online platforms in August 2023. The EU executive began a DSA probe into social media platform X in December, related to the dissemination of illegal content in the context of Hamas' attacks against Israel.

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