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EU commissioner urges Google to combat illegal content on YouTube amid Israel-Hamas conflict

Breton's letter, also directed to YouTube CEO Neal Mohan, highlighted the surge of illegal content and misinformation circulating in the EU through specific platforms in the aftermath of terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel.

Edited By: Vishal Upadhyay New Delhi Updated on: October 14, 2023 12:12 IST
European commissioner urges Google to act against illegal
Image Source : FILE European commissioner urges Google to act against illegal content on YouTube

European Commissioner Thierry Breton has penned a letter to Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, emphasising the importance of adhering to the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) in order to curb the dissemination of illegal content and disinformation related to the Israel-Hamas conflict on YouTube.

The Commissioner stressed Google's specific responsibility in safeguarding the millions of children and teenagers in the EU who use their platforms. He stated the necessity of implementing appropriate and proportionate measures to ensure a high level of privacy, safety, and security for minors.

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Breton has previously issued warnings to X, Meta, and TikTok regarding the removal of terrorist propaganda and manipulated content from their platforms. He urged Pichai to promptly address notices of illegal content within the EU and collaborate closely with relevant law enforcement authorities and Europol.

Regarding elections, Breton mentioned that the DSA mandates a rigorous approach to mitigating the risk of amplifying fake and manipulated content intended to influence electoral outcomes. He called upon Pichai to provide details of the measures taken to counter deepfakes, particularly in light of upcoming elections across various EU member states.

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Breton also reminded Pichai that in cases of potential non-compliance and subsequent investigations, penalties may be imposed. 

Meta, in response to the recent Hamas attacks and Israel's response, stated that their expert teams have been working tirelessly to monitor their platforms while allowing users to share crucial updates on the situation. They reported the removal or marking of over 795,000 pieces of content for policy violations in Hebrew and Arabic within three days following October 7.

Compared to the preceding two months, this represents a sevenfold increase in the daily removal of content violating their Dangerous Organisations and Individuals policy in Hebrew and Arabic alone.

Inputs from IANS


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