European Commission Asks Google, Facebook And Twitter To Amend Their TOS

A few days back we reported that Germany has proposed a new legislation which will allow German government to fine up to €50m if they fail to remove any reported fake news or hate speech within 24 hours. According to Reuters European Commission has asked Google, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to make some changed to their terms of service policies.

According to reports European Commission sent letters to Facebook, Twitter and Google and mentioned that the current TOS of these companies do not comply with EU consumer protection laws. European Commission asked the companies to make changes to TOS to include conditions to prevent fraud and scams perpetrated through these social media networks.

Also Read: Germany Proposes Legislation To Fine Social Media for Fake News And Hate Speech

The European Commission showed its concerns about TOS which requires users to seek compensation in a California Court as these social media networks are based there. The authorities have asked to change these conditions and allow users to seek compensations in courts of their country of residence.

Here are the official concerns of European Commission

  • Social media networks cannot deprive consumers of their right to go to court in their Member State of residence;
  • Social media networks cannot require consumers to waive mandatory rights, such as their right to withdraw from an on-line purchase;
  • Terms of services cannot limit or totally exclude the liability of Social media networks in connection with the performance of the service;
  • Sponsored content cannot be hidden, but should be identifiable as such;
  • Social media networks cannot unilaterally change terms and conditions without clearly informing consumers about the justification and without given them the possibility to cancel the contract, with adequate notice;
  • Terms of services cannot confer unlimited and discretionary power to social media operators on the removal of content.
  • Termination of a contract by the social media operator should be governed by clear rules and not decided unilaterally without a reason. Source: European Commission

The Commission has also asked Google, Facebook and Twitter to regulate fraud and scams on their network. The companies should remove any objectionable content immediately once they become aware of it. EU regulators  have shown their concerns on these issues on several occasions. This time European Commission has allowed one month time period, if the companies fail to comply EU regulations they will have to face heavy fines.

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