LinkedIn signed the European Union’s Voluntary Code of Conduct on Friday to combat illegal hatred speeches online and joined its parents Microsoft, Facebook and Google YouTube.
In statement today, the European Commission announced that the professional social network has joined the EU’s Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online, with justice commissioner, Didier Reynders, welcoming LinkedIn’s (albeit tardy) participation, and adding in a statement that the code “is and will remain an important tool in the fight against hate speech, including within the framework established by digital services legislation”.
The company noted that, “It has joined the EU’s Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online, with justice commissioner, Didier Reynders, welcoming LinkedIn’s participation through the parent company Microsoft.
This decision is made to fight against the hate speech and a commitment to step forward and keep the user’s conversations safe on the platform.
In a statement on its decision to formally join now, it also said:
“LinkedIn is a place for professional conversations where people come to connect, learn and find new opportunities. Given the current economic climate and the increased reliance jobseekers and professionals everywhere are placing on LinkedIn, our responsibility is to help create safe experiences for our members.”
“We couldn’t be clearer that hate speech is not tolerated on our platform. LinkedIn is a strong part of our members’ professional identities for the entirety of their career a” it can be seen by their employer, colleagues and potential business partners,” it added.
Companies that sign up for the code must have rules and community standards that prohibit hate speech on their platforms, and a system and team to review such flagged content. You also need to take immediate steps to remove the content.
“We are calling on more companies to join us to free the online world from hatred,” European Justice Commissioner Didier Lendels said in a statement.
Last year the Commission proposed broad updates (aka the Digital Services Act) to existing ecommerce rules to set operational ground rules that they said are intended to bring online laws in line with offline legal requirements — in areas such as illegal content, and indeed illegal goods. So, in the coming years, the bloc will get a legal framework that tackles — at least at a high level — the hate speech issue, not merely a voluntary Code.
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