Facebook and Twitter were blamed on Thursday for neglecting to completely keep European Union consumer rules, in spite of repeated force from Brussels. A European Commission report said the two online networking mammoths were continuing to erase content transferred by clients without prior consent. Twitter was singled out for changing its terms of utilization without telling users. Brussels said that while Google+ had agreed to all the required changes, Facebook and Twitter were still expected to do more to give customers a clearer picture concerning deleted content and accounts.
“I am pleased that the enforcement of EU rules to protect consumers by national authorities is bearing fruit, as some companies are now making their platforms safer for consumers,” said Vera Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. “However, it is unacceptable that this is still not complete, and it is taking so much time.”
On the positive side of the record, a month ago the EU recognized social networks for eliminating hate speech in a more convenient way. It has also appropriately educated users that they can take Facebook, Twitter, and different websites to court in the EU. Those were essential issues. However, another pressing matter is the enormous number of tricks and loopholes Facebook and Twitter are continuing to use, the EU said.
Brussels has utilized its consumer protection laws to prohibit platforms from removing client created content “without providing a clear justification and without giving consumers the possibility to appeal.” The Commission said Facebook still expected to “clarify” how somebody can appeal a content removal while Twitter expected to postpone its entitlement to have “unlimited power” to erase material as it sees fit.
A spokesperson for Twitter said the company was committed to getting to “industry-leading levels of consumer protection. We have consistently worked with the European Commission in this regard – collaboratively and in good faith – to deal with their concerns. We will continue to do so.”
“We have worked with the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network (CPC) and the European Commission to ensure our Terms and Conditions are more transparent. We have long had tools in place to which inform people about content removals and intend to expand these tools later this year,” said a Facebook spokesperson.