Do You Know Who Decides What Gets Posted Online?

Since it’s Internet Safety Month we decided to look at who decides what gets posted online. A proposed European policy aims to alter who bears the brunt of responsibility for online breaches of copyright. Read on for why this affects you.

The proposed policy is Article 13, it would require all internet platforms frequented by European citizens to enable automatic filtering oversight to look through uploaded content for copyright infringements.

As the dissenting letter states, “those who upload content to the Internet bear the principal responsibility for its legality, while platforms are responsible to take action to remove such content once it’s illegality has been brought to their attention.” Article 13 proposes websites are responsible for the content on their sites. 

Tech influencers like Tim Berners Lee, Vint Cerf, and Joichi Itcho believe Article 13 will make the Internet less open, and released this letter detailing why. While the signatories understand and value the intent of Article 13 they agree it sets a dangerous precedent for surveillance.

Why does this affect the average user?

Content recognition software isn’t perfect which means they could mistake parodied or quoted references for the real thing. These filters will pester ordinary users as they will limit the material you could contribute to Wikipedia or curb you from uploading photos and videos.

In doing this they would restrict the type of viral content that makes internet so culturally rich and interesting. Just a few weeks ago YouTube blocked educational videos uploaded by MIT and the the Blender Foundation due to erroneous piracy concerns.

Big websites already enforce these regulations and have the money to pay for them, this will hurt smaller scale sites. It looks like the European Legal Affairs committee will vote to approve Article 13. 

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