On June 7, 2022, the European Union’s Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online came into effect. This regulation introduces new requirements related to content removal, preservation of account information, and transparency reporting specifically regarding materials that an EU member state believes to be created for terrorist purposes.
The information below represents the number of content removal orders we received — as well as data related to user appeals of terrorist content removals from WordPress.com based on both EU removal orders and our standard moderation practices — between June 7, 2022 – June 30, 2023.
Identifying and Removing Terrorist Content
Content created for the purposes of terrorism, violent extremism, or calls to violence is prohibited on WordPress.com.
Like most online hosts, we do not pre-screen the content that millions of users post to our services. We evaluate reports of content that go against our User Guidelines or Terms of Service and take some limited measures to proactively surface other abusive content that is posted to our services. We try to make the process for reporting abusive or illegal sites as transparent and simple as possible. If you see a site that you think violates our policies, please report it here.
Additionally, we partner with a number of industry coalitions such as the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism and Tech Against Terrorism to proactively locate, identify, and remove violent extremist content. We also work closely with law enforcement and other government agencies around the world to quickly address any illegal or otherwise abusive content discovered on our platform.
We do not automatically remove websites from WordPress.com; a (human) member of our Trust & Safety team reviews each report and makes a decision on whether it violates our policies. While we are legally required to remove all content that is the subject of an EU Regulation content removal order, we still manually review each order to ensure accuracy and validity.
Freedom of Expression
All reports of terrorist content are investigated by a member of our staff.
One important reason we review each report is to guard against the removal of material posted to legitimate blogs (e.g. citizen journalists) that discuss terrorism or terrorist groups. In another context, some of the materials they publish may qualify as terrorist propaganda or calls to violence, and would be removed under our policies. Although it involves some work to review each report we receive, we do so because we take the task of protecting legitimate speech and expression seriously.