As part of its broader efforts to regulate platforms, the European Union adopted Regulation (EU) 2021/784 on addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online on 29 April 2021. The legislative process was contentious, and different actors across the digital rights and human rights domains scrutinized the proposal and negotiations, lobbying all EU institutions to modify specific provisions to ensure the Regulation respected fundamental rights. These actors were partially successful in influencing key aspects of the final text of the Regulation. The influence of civil society actors thus challenges the traditional perception that counterterrorism policymaking tends to be depoliticized and shielded from public contestation.
In her article “Negotiating Fundamental Rights: Civil Society and the EU Regulation on Addressing the Dissemination of Terrorist Content Online”, IFSH researcher Reem Ahmed compares the argumentation patterns of the actors involved in negotiating the EU Regulation and examines the dynamics of politicization and securitization at the intersection of counterterrorism and platform governance. Her analysis shows that while discourses of urgency and necessity remained evident on the part of EU institutions, the issue of platform governance engaged a more diverse range of actors, who were able to (publicly) challenge and contest the EU’s approach.
This article is part of a special issue entitled “The Practicalities and Complexities of (Regulating) Online Terrorist Content Moderation” published in Studies in Conflict & Terrorism: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1057610X.2023.2222890?src=
Reem Ahmed (2023) Negotiating Fundamental Rights: Civil Society and the EU Regulation on Addressing the Dissemination of Terrorist Content Online, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, DOI: 10.1080/1057610X.2023.2222890