Germany said on Tuesday that Facebook, Google and Twitter have agreed to delete hate speech from their websites within 24 hours, according to a Reuters report.

Great.

I just have one little question:

How will they decide, in just 24 hours, what qualifies as hate speech?

This is not a question for amateurs, making a call based on emotion. It is a very serious matter, touching on the foundations of our open society.

Who will get to say what in what context?

Since May, the highest court in Europe has left to Google to decide what level of “unfavorableness” is required for an unpleasant search result to be deleted. About 40 percent of all requests pass the test — but the surrounding world still knows very little about what principles Google apply in the process.

The report from Germany is short. We need to know more about this new agreement. The most important question is the most difficult one:

How would you, Facebook and Google and Twitter, phrase your editorial values?

And who is your editor in chief, should we, the public, want to discuss them with you?

***

Andreas Ekström is a journalist, analyst, author and keynote speaker — based in Sweden, but working all around the world. He writes on Medium most Tuesdays. Read more here: http://www.andreasekstrom.se/english/

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Educating for digital equality. Author, reporter. Won the Swedish “Speaker of the Year” award. Does this: bit.ly/1M6KSsq Once opening act for pope John Paul II.

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