* Vote to make video-sharing platforms fight hate speech
* Netflix, Amazon to face 30 pct quota for European works
* Member states could ask them to help finance EU films
(Adds tech lobby group comment)
By Julia Fioretti
BRUSSELS, April 25 Video-sharing platforms such
as Google's YouTube and Vimeo will have to take
measures to protect citizens from content containing hate speech
and incitement to violence under measures voted by EU lawmakers
The proliferation of hate speech and fake news on social
media has led to companies coming under increased pressure to
take it down quickly, while internet campaigners have warned an
excessive crackdown could endanger freedom of speech.
Members of the culture committee in the European Parliament
voted on a legislative proposal that covers everything from 30
percent quotas for European works on video streaming websites
such as Netflix to advertising times on TV to combating
The lawmakers approved an amendment that would define
video-sharing platforms as services or a "dissociable section of
a wider service" that "play a significant role in providing
programmes and user-generated videos to the general public, in
order to inform, entertain or educate," which could include
social media networks including Facebook and Twitter
that also carry videos.
"Social media should not be regulated through the back door.
Tackling hate speech on social media is important, but the CULT
(culture) committee should not jump the gun by adopting a
far-reaching definition of video sharing platforms without any
proper impact assessment," said Marietje Schaake, a member of
the Liberals group of the parliament.
While the proposal voted by the parliament will need to be
discussed and eventually agreed with EU member states in the
Council of the EU, the latter has also extended the scope of the
law to cover social media companies.
Video-sharing platforms will have to take "appropriate,
proportionate and efficient measures" to protect all citizens
from content containing incitement to undermine human dignity or
incitement to violence or hatred.
The lawmakers also voted to increase the quotas for European
films and TV shows on video streaming platforms such as Netflix
and Amazon Prime Video to 30 percent from 20 percent,
as originally proposed by the European Commission.
"Many video on demand platforms already fulfil a quota of
over 20 percent, but this percentage should be increased," said
Sabine Verheyen, the lawmaker steering the plans through the
Member states will also be able to require video on demand
platforms to contribute financially to the production of
European works in the country where they are established and
also where they target audiences.
In the latter case, the financial contributions will be
based only on the revenues services such as Netflix and Amazon
Prime Video earn in the targeted state.
The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA),
which includes Google, Facebook and Netflix, said the
introduction of levies for video on demand providers would harm
the EU's single market.
It would "distort investment in the EU towards a few member
states," said Maud Sacquet, public policy manager for CCIA.
(Reporting by Julia Fioretti; Editing by Mark Potter)