Today the Commission is taking another important step against illegal content online and in particular against the urgent and serious issue of terrorist content.

We have made important progress against Da'esh on the ground.  But they still use the internet to spread their poisonous propaganda.  They may have been forced to move, to Libya, the Sahel or elsewhere, but with the internet they retain the ability to spread their hateful message.

The production of propaganda has not ceased.  There is a vast amount of archive material.   Supporters, including in Europe, are producing new material.  And this material has been directly linked to some of the recent attacks in Europe.

We need to keep up our work to tackle this propaganda.  This requires a collective effort.  The Internet companies obviously have a key role to play.

To this end, the Recommendation sets out a number of clear operational objectives which we want the internet companies to follow:

  • Terrorist content referred by law enforcement should be removed "within one hour".This is in line with G7 Statements.

  • Companies should implement proactive measures and notably automatic detection, "in order to detect, identify and expeditiously remove or disable access to terrorist content".

  • Companies should automatically prevent removed illegal terrorist content from being re-uploaded.

  • And the larger platforms should assist smaller platforms in meeting these objectives.

As we said last year in our Communication on illegal content, these actions are not only compatible with the existing legal framework – the e-Commerce Directive and its liability arrangements – but they are fully in line with the spirit of that framework. 

We are giving ourselves and internet companies three months to deliver on these objectives. In parallel, we are also launching an analysis of further possible measures, including legislation.

With this Recommendation and the parallel launch of an impact assessment process, we are sending a clear signal to the internet companies:  the voluntary approach is still our favoured approach – because it has shown its merits and is quicker, but there is still a lot more we need to do. And, one way or another, we need to meet the objectives that we've set out today.