Twitter, Facebook and others approve European Commission Code of Conduct on online hate speech

8 June, 2016

Twitter, Microsoft, Facebook and YouTube have agreed a Code of Conduct which has been published by the European Commission which sets out how those social media operators will respond to illegal hate speech posted by users. Hate speech, is defined as “conduct publicly inciting to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin.”  The Code of Conduct covers several areas of activity, including:

  • Maintaining appropriate internal procedures
  • Staff training
  • Co-operation with lobby groups that can make social media operators aware of problematic content


Those signing up to the Code of Conduct also undertake to put in place guidelines which:

  • Prohibit the promotion of incitement to violence and hateful conduct
  • Oblige the social media operators to review the majority of valid notifications within 24 hours
  • Require that the content in question is removed where necessary


More information on the new Code of Conduct is available here