Disabling access to illegal online content by way of takedowns
Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15969
This article discusses the European Union's approach to regulating illegal content and hate speech online. The report "Digital Services Act — deepening the internal market and clarifying responsibilities for digital services" by Sally Broughton Micova and Alexandre de Streel provides an overview of EU law in this context. The e-Commerce Directive serves as a horizontal regulation covering all platforms and types of illegal content. Vertical regulations are also applied for specific content under EU law. The EU aims to update the framework to establish clear responsibilities for digital service providers. The e-Commerce Directive establishes limited liability for service providers concerning third-party content. This means platforms are responsible for removing flagged or notified illegal content. While methods like artificial intelligence could assist, the complexity of monitoring makes this challenging. Regulating online hate speech is a complex issue. The author suggests a holistic approach involving society, law, platforms, and users is necessary. Legal scholar Wolfgang Schulz highlights challenges in regulating online harms and the potential erosion of civil liberties. Amendments to laws like NetzDG in Germany reflect attempts to strike a balance between regulation and protecting free speech.
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