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Freemuse joins 60+ free speech advocates urging EU legislators to vote ‘no’ to automated censorship online

20 April 2021
Image: Carry The Truth, Teo Georgiev, Finland, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

 

The EU is considering new legislation which could seriously endanger free speech. Freemuse and more than 60 organisations have sent a joint letter to Members of the European Parliament urging them to vote against the proposed Regulation on addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online. 

The regulation, which would apply throughout the EU, would permit online platforms to use automated tools, like upload filters, to remove content that is deemed to be of a ‘terrorist’ nature. EU countries can also issue removal orders of online content hosted anywhere in the EU within one hour without judicial review with online platforms exposed to fines or legal problems if they do not comply with the orders. 

Artistic expression often challenges the status quo and vague provisions on counter terrorism have been used across the globe to silence artists who criticise the authorities or question normative opinions. We are concerned that artistic content will be automatically removed by algorithms without consideration of how satire, irony or sarcasm differ from content on propaganda or terrorist beliefs.  

MEPs will have to vote for or against a Regulation on addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online during the plenary of 26-29 April in StrasbourgThe proposal has no place in EU law and our coalition urgethe European Parliament to reject the proposal and uphold the rights to freedom of expression and opinion, freedom to access information, the right to privacy, and the rule of law. 

Read the full letter sent to MEPs here: https://www.liberties.eu/en/stories/terrorist-content-regulation-open-letter-to-meps/43410 

Read more about the misuse of counter-terrorism legislation on silencing artistic freedom in our latest annual report, the State of Artistic Freedom 2021.

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