Looks like the Twitter Speech Police are partnering up with some fellow do-gooders to take down thought criminals once and for all. At least in the European Union.

Věra Jourová, the EU’s Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, shared this piece of good news earlier today:

Wow, this sounds great, doesn’t it? Let’s read some more about it:

The IT Companies support the European Commission and EU Member States in the effort to respond to the challenge of ensuring that online platforms do not offer opportunities for illegal online hate speech to spread virally. They share, together with other platforms and social media companies, a collective responsibility and pride in promoting and facilitating freedom of expression throughout the online world. However, the Commission and the IT Companies recognise that the spread of illegal hate speech online not only negatively affects the groups or individuals that it targets, it also negatively impacts those who speak out for freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination in our open societies and has a chilling effect on the democratic discourse on online platforms.

By signing this code of conduct, the IT companies commit to continuing their efforts to tackle illegal hate speech online. This will include the continued development of internal procedures and staff training to guarantee that they review the majority of valid notifications for removal of illegal hate speech in less than 24 hours and remove or disable access to such content, if necessary. The IT companies will also endeavour to strengthen their ongoing partnerships with civil society organisations who will help flag content that promotes incitement to violence and hateful conduct. The IT companies and the European Commission also aim to continue their work in identifying and promoting independent counter-narratives, new ideas and initiatives, and supporting educational programs that encourage critical thinking.

So, what constitutes “illegal hate speech”?

Guess that’s for them to know, and you to find out — and be punished for.



‘Watch out for those scary opinions’! Twitter introduces glorified speech police