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EU says social media firms ‘now better’ at removing hate speech

The EU has said major social media firms have stepped up their efforts to remove hate speech online. EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said that the 2016 code of conduct “works well,” with companies like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter reacting within 24 hours in an average 89 percent of the cases pointed out to them.

The companies remove the content, on average, in 72 percent of the cases.

Jourova said she would never require that all flagged content be removed since the fundamental right of freedom of expression needs to be respected, AP reports.

According to EU statistics, YouTube removed 85.4 percent of the contested content, Facebook 82.4 percent, and Twitter 43.5 percent.

Brussels still wants big tech companies to work harder to combat fake news online, particularly ahead of EU parliament elections in May.

Note: In October 2006, Jourová was accused of accepting a 2 million Kč bribe from Ladislav Péťa, mayor of Budišov, South Moravia, for securing EU subsidies.

Although she was fully exonerated, she spent more than a month in pre-trial detention, which “brought divorce and anguish to her family”.