Both Facebook and Twitter were put on the EU’s watch list and have been handed an ultimatum to rid their platforms of hate speech or face legal consequences.
As we told you already this morning, Facebook is currently in a place where the punches keep coming.
Its CEO Mark Zuckerberg felt the need to explain that his site is definitely not Anti-Trump, whilst yesterday Facebook was ordered to appear before a congressional investigation by November 1 to explain why they allowed Russia to post some 3,000 ads on its platform that could have meddled in the US elections.
On top of all that, it is now also in the EU regulator’s crosshairs.
Mariya Gabriel, the EU's top official in charge of the digital economy and society: "The situation is not sustainable: in more than 28% of cases, it takes more than one week for online platforms to take down illegal content."
The EU’s antitrust regulator, Ms. Margrete Vestager, is not someone to be taken lightly.
Just this year, she handed a 14 billion dollar fine to Apple and a 3 billion dollar one to Google. Just yesterday, European truck maker Scania was ordered to pay a 1 billion dollar fine for irregularities.
Any European fine is always based on the turnover of the company being fined, which in Facebook’s case could be quite massive.
Furthermore, some European countries aren't even waiting on its executive arm, the EU, to act. Germany has stated that they will send fines to their local Facebook and Twitter offices for 60 million $ per time the companies breach the country’s regulations on hate speech. All illegal content must be deleted at the latest 7 days after it was reported to regulators.
Earlier this year, the EU Commission fined Facebook 130 million dollars for providing misleading information about their WhatsApp takeover.
Meanwhile, the UK parliament has also begun discussions on social media firms (like Facebook and Twitter) that need to prioritize user safety over profit and are calling for ‘meaningful fines’ to be handed out to both if they do not improve fast.