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EU Commissioner meets Twitter representatives in Dublin

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European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders has met representatives from Twitter in Dublin amid concerns that staff departures will impact the company’s ability to comply with EU regulations.

Mr Reynders said the situation was concerning and that he had received commitments from Twitter executives that they would continue to meet their regulatory obligations.

“We received a clear commitment to work on this from Twitter,” Mr Reynders said.

“In terms of decisions relating to the reductions of staff, we want to be sure there are resources to protect the data of users,” he added.

The Commissioner also expressed concerns that content moderation could be impacted by staff reductions.

Hate speech

The European Commission released a report today showing that there has been a slowdown in the response of tech firms to requests for the removal of online hate speech.

The evaluation of the EU code of conduct on countering illegal hate speech online shows a decrease in companies’ ‘notice-and-action’ results.

The number of notifications reviewed by companies within 24 hours dropped to 64.4% compared to 81% in 2021 and 90.4% in 2020

TikTok is the only company that improved its time of assessment.

Removal rate

The overall removal rate across all companies was 63.6%, similar to 2021 rate of 62.5% but still lower than in 2020 when it stood at 71%.

YouTube improved its removal rate in 2022 but all the other tech companies removed less content than in 2021.

Facebook removed 69.1% in 2022 compared to 70.2% in 2021.

Twitter’s removal rate was 45.4% compared to 49.8% last year.

On average, 69.6% of content calling for murder or violence against specific groups was removed, while content using defamatory words or pictures to name certain groups was removed in 59.3% of the cases.

This represents a better response rate on the most serious manifestations of online hatred.

Overall, there has been an improvement in the companies’ frequency and quality of feedback to users.

The EU Digital Services Act (DSA) entered into force on 16 November which compels tech companies to remove illegal online content or else face heavy fines.

Didier Reynders will meet with representatives from Meta in Dublin tomorrow.

During his visit to Ireland, he is also holding talks with the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and the Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon.

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