Illegal content online
June 2018
Flash Eurobarometer 469
The European C ommission has taken a series of targeted and horizontal measures to curb the
spread of illegal content online, inc luding on such as hate speech, c hild sexual abuse material,
incitement to terrorism, consume r scams and cont ent that infringes intellectual property rights. On
28th Septem ber 2017 t he Comm ission adopte d a Com munic ation o n t ackli ng illegal content online,
towards enhancing responsibility of online platforms1. Following on from this, on March 1 2018, the
Commission issued a Recommendation on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online2.
This Recommendation emphasises the need for online platforms to take greater responsibility when
it comes to the governance of online content. It clearly sets out the processes online platforms
should put in place to enhance the detection and removal of illegal content. These include clearer
rules for notifying illegal c ontent, more proactive tools and technologies to identify and remove
illegal content, and, importantly, stronger safeguards to ensure dec isions to remove conte nt are
accurate and well-founded3.
To explore Europeans’ experience of illeg al content online, and their opinions about the role and
responsibility of online platforms, this survey explores the following areas:
!!The use of various types of online hosting services;
!!Views about the safety of the Internet and addressing illegal content online;
!!The types of illegal content e ncountered online, the actions take n as a result, and satisfaction
with the hosting service’s response;
!!Respondents’ experiences of having legal content wrongfully blocked, the reasons given for
this and including the actions taken as a result;
!!Opinions about th e actions Internet hosting services should take to address illegal content
online, including content removal and the right of appeal.
This surve y was carried out by the TNS Political & Soc ial netw ork in all 28 Member States of the
European Union, between 18 and 26 June 2018. Some 33,244 respondents from different social
and demographic groups were interviewed via telephone in their mother tongue on behalf of the
DirectorateGe neral f or Commu nications Network s, Content and Te chnol ogy (DG CO NNECT).
The methodology used is t hat of Flash Eurobarometer surveys as carried out by the Directorate-
General for Communication “Media monitoring, media analysis and Eurobarometer” Unit)4 .. A
technical note on the manner in which interviews were conducted by the Institutes within the TNS
Political & Social network is appended as an annex to this report. Also included are the interview
methods and confidence int ervals5.
1 0555
5 The results tables are included in the annex. It should be noted that the total of the percentages in the tables of this report may exceed
100% when th e respondent has the possibility of giving several an swers to the quest ion.

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