The European Commission and European consumer protection authorities have requested that Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc make changes to their terms of service for Europe, Reuters reports. The three companies have a month to make the alterations to their social media sites’ (Alphabet’s being Google+) terms or risk being fined.
Concerns regarding the T&Cs include “requiring users to seek redress in court in California, where the companies are based, instead of their country of residence,” as well as “not identifying sponsored content clearly,” “requiring consumers to waive mandatory rights,” and an “excessive power for the companies to determine the suitability of content generated by users.”
It’s said that the companies have already made some suggestions as to how the problems can be resolved and a source familiar with the matter told Reuters that a Thursday meeting between the parties had been “constructive.”
Meanwhile, Reuters also claims that Germany is planning a new law which would require social sites to remove “slanderous or threatening” posts quickly, or suffer fines up to 50 million euros (~$53 million).
There’s no denying the potential social media sites have to generate abusive, threatening, and/or inaccurate posts — particularly recently — so any attempt to curb that aspect of the experience is always welcome. It’s a step in the right direction.