AI and the Presumption of Terrorist Nature of Expressions: The EU Regulation on Terrorist Content Online

This paper provides a human rights law analysis of the new EU Regulation on Terrorist Content Online, as a prime example of how AI specifically, and developments within the digital realm generally, trigger legislative responses that pose challenges to the concepts and doctrines of international human rights law, and result in new and evolving threats to human rights. For example, the Regulation results in cross-border detection and removal of terrorist content which content itself is intended as having extraterritorial reach and reflects the phenomenon of individuals’ online identities genuinely being non-territorial or multi-locational in nature. The Regulation, through its multiple one-hour deadlines and as seeking to respond to dynamic content as live broadcasting of an ongoing terrorist event, will by default result in both governments and private companies (service providers) relying on AI in detecting and removing terrorist content, and redefining freedom of expression.