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Italian regulator consults on draft rules to tackle hate speech

The rules suggest a co-regulatory approach for online platforms.

Background: in July 2018, AGCOM started the process to adopt a set of rules to protect the principle of non-discrimination and to tackle hate speech. The Italian Law on Audio-visual and Radio Media Services empowers the regulator to monitor and safeguard these principles.

The draft: This week, the regulator has issued a draft set of rules, alongside a questionnaire for stakeholders to provide input. The draft defines ‘platform services for the sharing of videos’ in a way as to include any platform where video sharing is either the key feature or a ‘distinguishable section’ of the service. For those, AGCOM identifies forms of co-regulation, monitoring, and verification of activities. The provisions are much less prescriptive than those aimed at traditional audiovisual media services, and require the implementation of effective systems to identify and report illegitimate behaviour and users responsible for that. Platform providers must produce a quarterly report on the monitoring they carried out, and are asked to consider advertising campaigns or similar initiatives to promote inclusion and social cohesion.

Next steps: The draft is now under consultation for 30 days after publication, which occurred on 21 February 2019.