- Vera Jourova admitted she closed her account at a news conference in Brussels
- Tech giants may face more regulation if sufficient progress is not made
- New legislation could come into force as early as next year
An EU commissioner has closed down her own Facebook account as it was a ‘highway to hatred’, as the bloc warned the US firm to clamp down on online abuse or face being subjected to new regulations.
European Commissioner for Justice and Consumer Affairs, Vera Jourova, said she revealed her decision to close her account to staff during a meeting on Thursday which discussed new measures with hate speech.
Ms Jourova told a news conference in Brussels: ‘When we started discussing the future code of conduct, I first met Facebook managers here and I told them I had just cancelled my Facebook account because it was the highway for hatred, and I am not willing to support it.’
Ms Jourova is the Czech Republic’s selected representative on the European Commission, which is the executive and regulatory arm of the political union.
Vera Jourova revealed her decision to close her account to staff during a meeting on Thursday which discussed new measures with hate speech
Tech giants YouTube, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook all agreed to look into suspicious content within 24 hours and remove illegal material under a code of conduct signed in May 2016.
The European Commission said more work must be done to remove hate speech and incitement to terrorism.
Ms Jourova warned that new legislation may be put in place as early as next year if sufficient progress had not been made.
She added that hate speech ‘can lead to concrete violence against concrete people in real life and we must not tolerate it’.
Executives for the Silicon Valley firms recognised the need for action during a meeting with EU representatives last week, Ms Jourova said.
EU officials have reacted with growing alarm at the so-called Islamic State’s use of social media to recruit people willing to carry out a growing wave of attacks in Europe.