What is not allowed in the real world, must also be a no-go in the virtual world

The EESC acknowledges the Commission's Communication on Tackling Illegal Content Online as a first step but calls on the Commission to establish programmes and effective measures to provide a stable and consistent legal framework for the efficient removal of illegal content. 

"Spreading illegal content must be nipped in the bud", said Bernardo Hernández Bataller, rapporteur of the opinion on Illegal content/online platforms which was adopted on 14 March 2018.

This is why the EESC also proposes that special attention should be paid to the development, processing and dissemination of purely informative content which appears – at first glance – legal but is hiding illegal content.

The focus should also be extended to anything that relates to mega data and the benefits that online platforms obtain by exploiting this data.

"Publishing illegal content, hate speech or incitement to terrorism is not a peccadillo. In order to avoid, combat and remove such material, we need to strengthen measures. This is also important so that we can protect minors", said Mr Bataller.

The EESC believes that online platforms themselves should provide users with the tools to highlight fake news and thus make other users aware that the veracity of the content has been called into question.

Given the impact that digital platforms already have on our daily life and the risks they pose, it is essential to have clear and harmonised legislation all over Europe. (sma)