© Reuters. The YouTube app logo can be seen in this illustration on a smartphone
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Facebook (NASDAQ :), YouTube, Twitter and other social media owned by Alphabet are subject for the first time to the EU broadcasting rules for hate speech and harmful content announced on Thursday in accordance with the guidelines of the European Commission.
The changes to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive adopted in 2018 came in part from the lobbying of broadcasters who wanted online platforms to have the same obligations as traditional media companies.
"Online players, like traditional media players, need to ensure that users are protected from hate speech and minors are protected from harmful content," the Commission said.
"Online platforms must act against flagged content that leads to violence, hatred and terrorism, and ensure adequate advertising and product placement in children's programs," it said.
The non-binding guidelines apply to social platforms on which audiovisual content is seen as an essential but not an integral part of their business. EU countries that have until 19 September to implement the rules will have the last word on the list of companies.
The commission also said that video-on-demand services would have to use at least 30% of their catalogs for European content, a move that targets Netflix (NASDAQ 🙂 and Amazon (NASDAQ 🙂 Prime.
Media service providers in an EU country, but with customers in other EU countries, must also help finance the production of European works in order to achieve the goal of promoting European films and television programs.
"The guidelines apply to online platforms with limited but welcome new responsibilities," said the Association of Commercial Television in Europe.
However, some changes also burdened traditional media players with administrative work, more quotas and a tax system that leaves less financial scope for investments and new services.
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