October 10, 2021

According to the European Commission, only 62.5% of hateful content is removed from social networks

Almost two-thirds (62.5%) of reported hateful content online is removed by social media. A decrease compared to previous years when 71% of notified content was deleted. The European Commission published on Thursday, October 7, 2021 the results of its sixth investigation into the fight against illegal hate speech online (see methodology at the end*). This report concerns the signatories of the “code of conduct for the fight against illegal hate speech online “: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Microsoft, Instagram, Google+, Snapchat, Dailymotion, Jeuxvideo.com and TikTok.

Disparities in reports received
This figure of 62.5% hides some disparities. As a bad student, Twitter removes only 49.8% of reports received (up from 35.9% the previous year), YouTube 58.8%, Instagram 66.2% and Facebook 70.2%. Not all networks are equal in terms of notifications received either: Facebook and Twitter are largely ahead with 1,799 and 1,595 notifications, respectively. Then come YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Jeuxvideo.com. Snapchat, Dailymotion and Microsoft did not receive any notification.

Incitement to murder or violence, defamation, images targeting certain groups… This hateful content brings together a heterogeneous set of comments. Sexual orientation is the underlying motive for hate speech that received the most reports (18.2%), followed by xenophobia (18%), anti-Gypsyism (12.5%) and antisemitism (9.3%).

Overall, social networks act quickly, in accordance with the code of conduct, since 81% of notifications are reviewed within 24 hours, against 90.4% in 2020. The Commission, however, deplores lack of feedback to users concerning their notifications since only 60.3% of the notifications received have feedback. A decrease compared to the previous year (67.1%).